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OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016



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OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

Dear Readers, Dear Readers,

appeal to every reader. We’ve included many Divrei Torah and thoughts on Sukkot and Simchat Torah, delicious Yom Tov recipes - and don’t forget the kids, we have something here for them too. We wish all our readers a Chag Kasher V’Sameach and we hope this Sukkot brings you and your families a year filled with Health and Happiness! Stay in touch by emailing us at -- we’d love to hear from you! Chag Sameach, Dina

A huge thank you is in order to all those who responded to our first issue with great feedback, constructive criticism and support! Sukkot is one of my favorite Chagim - you can already feel it in the air here in South Florida as you drive down the street and see those Sukkah’s popping up. Although it’s still warm out, there’s nothing like spending time in the sukkah with your family. Isn’t it amazing to see how sitting outside in a hut with our family brings us that undeniable feeling of closeness? This Yom Tov issue is filled with articles and stories to

Oded Tzur


Dina Tzur


Shoshana Soroka


Dear Editor,

Yitzy Halpern Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed the paper from the great Rosh Hashana content to the quotes to the centerfold fun. We wish you much hatzlocha here and thank you for this nice publication. Sincerely, An instant fan

Dear Editor, Welcome The Florida Jewish Home! Not long ago I was discussing with my husband about how much we would love such a publication and now here you are! 


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National 5 That's Odd


Dear Editor, I really liked the first edition of The Florida Jewish Home. I really enjoyed the piece on Eating Healthy During the Chagim by Naomi Cohn. She made some great points and I was really able to relate to what she was saying. I even tried the whole wheat challah recipe for Rosh Hashana and it came out amazing! I’m looking forward to the next issue to learn more. Thank you, Nechama


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Advertisements, Classifieds & Real Estate 305-467-9003 561-374-2005 The Jewish Home is an independent weekly magazine. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher or editor. The Jewish Home is not responsible for typographical errors, or for the kashrus of any product or business advertised within. The Jewish Home contains words of Torah. Please treat accordingly.

ISRAEL Shimon Peres - A Controversial and Combative Leader


PEOPLE Palms and Fronds and Citrons


Dating Dialogue


A Message of Courage, Fortitude and Hope


JEWISH THOUGHT The Sukkah Experience


Oy! or Joy!


Breaking Up is Hard to Do


La alegría de la Torá: Celebrando Simjat Torá


A Symbolic Sukkos


HEALTH APPETITE 10 Wines You Want on Your Yom Tov Table


Scrumptious Sukkos Starters


Cauliflower- Who Knew?


Shabbos Zmanim Candle Lighting Parshas Ha'azinu 6:32 Parshas Zos Habracha 6:26 Shabbos Ends Parshas Ha'azinu 7:38

HUMOR Centerfold


Notable Quotes


Parshas Zos Habracha 7:28

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

The Week In News

Tax Scam Ring Raided

The terrorist possessed an Israeli identification card, according to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “There were no prior warnings ahead of a focused attack like this,” Erdan said. He was killed by security forces.

Second Presidential Debate: A Red Star Rises Hurricane Hits Haiti Hard Only six years after a devastating earthquake rocked the small country of Haiti, Hurricane Matthew wreaked a new level of havoc on the small Caribbean nation. At least 300 Haitians have been killed since the category 4 hurricane made landfall, with entire communities and villages being washed away by the storm.

Haitian ambassador to the United States, Paul Altidor, said that Haiti unfortunately expects that number of 300 to “rise a little bit as we begin to access communities, regions that were inaccessible because of the roads …[and] the bridges that fell due to the hurricane.” Winds of 125 miles per hour destroyed thousands of homes and cut off many areas from the rest of the country. “The southern peninsula has been devastated,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Cedric Pringle, commander of the Joint Task Force Matthew. Humanitarian and disaster relief assistance has already begun to pour into the poor country. In addition to U.S. aid, ships are beginning to arrive from France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. U.S. President Barack Obama appealed to Americans to help other countries by donating to the Red Cross and other relief organizations, as Matthew brushed by the Florida coast.  “We know that hundreds of people ... lost their lives and that they’re going to need help rebuilding,” he urged. Over 350,000 Haitians are in need of some sort of assistance in the aftermath of Matthew. At least 61,000 are living in temporary shelters until they can rebuild their homes.

A large arrest was made just outside of Mumbai this week, when a tax scam ring that had swindled Americans out of tens of millions of dollars was shut down. So far, over 70 people have been detained, and more arrests are on the way. The scheme was run from a huge call center. Scammers would call victims posing as IRS officials and left voicemails that accused the victim of tax evasion and threatened them with arrest. Assistant police commissioner Bharat Shelke explained that after being threatened, “some used to call back, and employees at the call center then demanded a few thousand dollars to settle the case,” he said. Suspicions should have been raised when unused iTunes gift cards were also accepted if the victim did not have any cash. While the owner of one of the call centers was among those arrested, police reports indicate the ringleaders were not brought in. Authorities say that the callers were instructed to alter their Indian accent to an American one. They were handed six-page scripts that contained answers for different scenarios, including how to overcome the doubts and suspicions of their victims. Many of the workers were “very convincing in recorded conversations,” according to police officials. Callers made between $150 and $1,050 a month. “Employees were aware of the fraud, but since they were getting a good salary, they remained silent,” Shelke said. Behind of the IRS – whether it’s authentic or not.

2 Murdered in Jerusalem Attack Sunday morning turned tragic in Jerusalem as an East Jerusalem terrorist opened fire at police and pedestrians. Two people were murdered in the attack; five others were injured.

Hamas praised the shooting, calling it “heroic,” “brave” and a “natural response to the occupation,” Army Radio reported. One of the people who was killed on Sunday morning was a 29-year-old police officer, First Sergeant Yosef Kirma. He was just recently married. Kirma’s father, Uzi, eulogized his son. “Yossi, you were my friend. Now you are no longer with us anymore. How is it possible to continue? What will I do now?” he said. “How can I move on from here? I love you so much.” His wife Noy lamented their short time together. “We had so many plans together, a home, children, and you always supported my career. You loved me always, unconditionally, even more than I loved myself,” she said. “My Yossi, look how many people came just for you. You are my light and my heart.” This is not the first time Kirma tried to stop a terrorist from harming others. He was decorated after helping to stop a terror attack in December 2015. The other victim of the attack was Levana Malihi, 60, a grandmother and former longtime employee of the Knesset who retired in 2010, having worked there for over 30 years. She is survived by her husband, three children, and six grandchildren and was known to be a warm person who kept in touch with friends at the Knesset even after retiring. The terrorist, who had served five months in an Israeli prison in the past, was supposed to start another prison sentence on Sunday. After the attack, a video was made public in which his daughter spoke about how proud they were of her father. “We’re very happy and proud of our father,” she can be heard and seen on the recording. “My father is a great man. Our relationship, as father and daughter, was excellent.” There were celebrations in the streets as sweets and baklava were handed out in the Gaza Strip and in East Jerusalem. The terrorist was a member of the Morabitun, a group of Muslim extremists who regularly go to the Temple Mount to harass and threaten Jewish visitors. Hamas put out a video chronicling his life. A few hours later, Hamas published a statement recognizing the terrorist as one of its members and “a symbol of the city,” adding that “he gave his life today for the al-Aqsa mosque and the city of al-Quds.”

One would be hard-pressed to describe the second presidential debate last Sunday night in political terms; it bore more of a resemblance to a wrestling match. As Clinton and Trump took to the stage they did not shake hands, as is customary at the start of debates. Although many thought that Trump – whose campaign in the 48 hours before the debate hung by a tether – would present himself as contrite and humble, he came out with guns blazing. He physically towered over Clinton and when she spoke he maneuvered around the stage like a tiger waiting to pounce on his prey. Trump also took on the moderators – CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz – and called them out for showing favoritism to Clinton throughout the debate. “So, it’s three on one tonight,” he quipped at one point when they tried to shut him down. When Clinton called Trump’s temperament into question and said, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Trump fired back: “Because you would be in jail.” Although there was much discussion about recent controversies involving Trump, there was also discussion about a recent WikiLeaks dump which discloses that Clinton told Wall Street bankers that it is OK to have a public and a private position on any given policy. Clinton defended her speech by saying that a movie about President Lincoln showed that he did the same thing. Trump retorted, “She lied. Now she is blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe never lied.” The format for the debate was a town hall meeting in which the undecided voters on the stage – who bore a great resemblance to the cast of Guess Who? – would ask questions of the candidates. However, most of the time was taken up by a backand-forth between the candidates and only several questions were asked by the voters onstage. There was a substantive conver-



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

sation about the failings of Obamacare and the crisis in Syria, but most of that came between the sharp barbs. In the immediate aftermath of the debate many are of the opinion that Trump’s performance brought his campaign back from the brink and enables him to fight another day, although he likely did not attract any new voters. However, there was one clear winner at the debate: Ken Bone. Bone asked a question about energy independence. But it wasn’t the question that endeared him to millions of Americans and made him an instant social media sensation, rather it was the bright red cardigan sweater that he wore so well. By the morning after the debate Ken was on numerous shows discussing his wardrobe choice and explained that he actually purchased a brand new olive green suit for the debate but the pants split as he was getting into his car so he wore the red sweater instead. All I got to say is: “Kenny boy, you will never win that war. When they say you are size 48, don’t try to squeeze into a 44. It never ends well.”

s Registration openilies for current fam th. on November 7

“I’m Not Tired, I Just Have an XL Brain!”

This new study is for every teacher who took offense from your mid-lecture yawn – it was actually quite a compliment directly from our brains. Psychologist Andrew Gallup of the State University of New York at Oneonta and his colleagues recently released an article claiming that yawning actually promotes brain growth and activity and the duration of a yawn is heavily correlated to brain size. The researchers gathered 109 individuals from 19 species, including hu-

mans, African elephants, walruses, mice, rabbits, and capuchin monkeys. After analyzing the motley crew they discovered that the average yawn of the individual predicts the species’ brain weight and its number of cortical neurons. A long yawn represents a complex brain. Primates, including humans, have the longest yawn of all mammals. Humans don’t, however, have the largest brain. That accolades goes to elephants, who have the heaviest brains. But human brains are the most complex, followed by African elephants who also have more cortical neurons than other primates and the second longest yawn, perhaps hinting at their intelligence. There has been previous research and findings on this topic. A 2014 study found that yawning also jumpstarts the brain. Researchers believe that a yawn arouses the brain from its default mode, a sort of background humming-along state, and into a paying-attention state by increasing the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. About a decade ago, a Gallup study suggested that by yawning, opening our jaws and breathing in air it cools off the brain,

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a theory that has come to be known as the thermoregulatory theory of yawning. “Longer and/or [more] powerful yawns should provide greater physiological effects,” Gallup said at the time. This theory prompted a prediction: yawn duration should correlate with brain size and complexity, since having a larger and more neuron-dense brain might require more blood flow. To test that idea, Gallup and his colleagues timed yawns captured in YouTube videos. The duration varied from 0.8 seconds (mice) to 6.5 seconds (people).

No More Columbus Day? Most of us wouldn’t have known it was Columbus Day on Monday besides for the fact that the school buses weren’t running. But even so, in a few years it’s possible that Columbus Day will no longer be on your calendar. Many states and cities are





Meet our Director Mrs. Talia Levine Learn about our program Guided tours with parents ambassadors And of course some light refreshments and fun

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6 8:00 PM 1051 North Miami Beach Boulevard North Miami Beach, FL 33162 Reserve your spot today! Mrs. Bryna Roth 305.947.4007

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moving to downplay the role of Columbus in our nation’s history, favoring instead to rebrand the day and rename it Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Among the states engaged in the rebranding is Vermont, where Gov. Peter Shumlin said the “sacrifice and contributions of the First Peoples of this land” would be honored. He wrote that the day provided an opportunity to celebrate “indigenous heritage and resiliency.” South Dakota has avoided the Columbus Day name for decades, reportedly declaring the second Monday in October as Native Americans Day in 1990. Phoenix became the largest city to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day after a city council vote made it official last Thursday. Dozens of other cities also approved the name change in recent years, including Denver and Seattle. Last week, one city refused to downgrade Christopher Columbus. Cincinnati’s city council last Wednesday voted against a proclamation that would have recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As much as they try, it’s hard to erase him from the history books.

Record Number of Muslims Welcomed to the U.S.

America is known as the melting pot of the world, where many different people from many different lands and religions come together. With the promise of freedom and religion it has become an attractive destination for refugees seeking a better life. This year, America has welcomed a record number of Muslim refugees with open arms. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Depart-

ment’s Refugee Processing Center, in the fiscal year 2016, 38,901 Muslim refugees touched down on American soil. From Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016, a total of 85,000 refugees entered the country, 46% Muslim. Another 44% percent are Christian, with 37,521 refugees. The last time that a larger amount of Muslims entered the U.S. than Christians was in 2006, when a large number of Somali refugees came into the United States, according to Pew. The origin of the Muslim immigrants

calling the U.S. home this year was Somalia (9,012 refugees), Syria (12,486 refugees), Iraq (7,853), Myanmar (3,145), Afghanistan (2,664) and other countries (3,741). The Obama administration is most proud of the number of Syrian refugees. The White House had set a goal of accepting 10,000 Syrians amid the brutal civil war raging in the region. The goal was met in August, way ahead of schedule. “On behalf of the president and his Administration, I extend the warmest of wel-

comes to each and every one of our Syrian arrivals, as well as the many other refugees resettled this year from all over the world,” Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, said in a statement at the time. Despite the rising concern that some refugees may have terrorist ties the Obama White House has called it “shameful” and “not American” to reject Syrian refugees. In June, a federal court threw out a Texas lawsuit that had tried to prohibit Syrian refugees from residing in the state.



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

Liberal Professors Dominate Campuses Colleges are notoriously liberal but it’s not just the students who generate the liberal, leftist sentiment. Professors and leaders on campus are equally as liberal. A new study published in Econ Journal Watch last month confirms that liberal pro-

fessors outnumber conservative professors drastically on college campuses. This may help explain campus protests regarding national and global politics. The study was based on faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities, and concluded that of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314 – that’s a ratio of 11.5 to 1. The study analyzed the academic fields and of the five departments studied, economics boasted the most conservative professors, with just 4.5 liberals to every conservative. This is a

far cry from the least conservative-friendly department, where liberals outnumber conservatives by a 33.5 to 1 ratio. Historically Democratic academics have outnumbered Republicans, but not this drastically. In 1968 a study put the Democrat-to-Republican contrast 2.7 to 1. Even more recently, in 2004, researchers estimated that liberals outnumber conservatives in the field by a ratio between 9 to 1 and 15 to 1. The disparity between liberal and conservative professors is highest at the

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most prestigious universities, the study finds. Pennsylvania State University, for instance, has a comparatively balanced faculty ratio of 6 to 1, while Ohio State University enjoys even closer ideological parity at 3.2 to 1. But a pair of Ivy League universities, Columbia and Princeton, both weigh in at 30 to 1. The university with the most even ratio examined in the report is Pepperdine University, which has a reputation for being a conservative school but still has 1.2 Democrats for every Republican on the faculty. Interestingly, the ratio between professors of different political leanings expands as their age drops. The possible reason could be that older professors eventually retire and make way for younger, more liberal professors on faculty. Or it could mean that professors tend to lean more conservative as they age.

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Regardless of who occupies the seat in the White House next year, it’s going to be someone with extreme wealth. If someone starts spitting wooden nickels and Donald Trump trumps his opponent on Election Day, he will be the number one richest president of all time. Although no one has the exact numbers, Forbes has estimated the GOP nominee’s fortune at approximately $3.7 billion in a recent analysis. Hillary Clinton is not doing too shabby when it comes to wallet size. Her personal net worth totals $31.3 million. Husband Bill is estimated to be worth $80 million, which gives the couple a combined net worth of $111 million. Our 44 presidents have ranged from deep-pocketed to log cabin poor. Who’s the richest of them all? Many say that John F. Kennedy was America’s richest president. If he would have lived, he would have inherited his father’s financial empire, worth $1 billion. It would have been shared by a trust with the rest of his family, though. George Washington was the second richest president of the United States – if you consider JFK to be the richest – with a fortune of $525 million (adjusted for in-

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

flation). Thomas Jefferson, our third president, was worth a whopping $212 million. Theodore Roosevelt, president number 26, garnered $125 million in his lifetime. With $119 million, Andrew Jackson was our fifth richest president, followed by James Madison who was worth $101 million.

Undersea Explorer Locates Pirate’s Treasure

The dedicated explorer promised to try and prove his theory but stressed that the recovery process will take time. Once the mass is raised and removed from the sea, his team will need to break it down with care using electrolysis and small hand tools. “For me, it’d be great to get it all finished, but it isn’t going to get done in my lifetime,” Clifford admitted. “Archaeology doesn’t happen quickly, if you’re doing it correctly.”

Truck Farm, a farm stand in New Hampshire, is letting customers put their votes for president where he thinks they belong: right in the toilet. On the farm visitors cast their ballots in an outhouse-turnedfake-voting booth with mannequins of presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the side. Where do your election papers get tossed? Well, down the toilet.

Hair-larious Barry Clifford has made it his life mission to explore the great blue sea. He has been successful thus far. Clifford discovered the Whydah Gally back in 1984, the first authenticated pirate shipwreck in North America. The former slave ship, commanded by the English pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, sunk in stormy seas off Wellfleet, Massachusetts, in 1717, killing all but a handful of the nearly 150-person crew. It’s believed the heavily laden ship sunk quickly, leaving the ill-gotten riches from over 50 ships at the bottom of the ocean. Each year Clifford and his team return to the wreck, over which he has special rights, in hopes of discovering more facts. Supposedly they’ve already reclaimed some 200,000 artifacts, including thousands of silver Spanish coins, hundreds of pieces and fragments of rare African gold jewelry, dozens of cannons, various colonial-era objects and other prizes. Now Clifford, 70, is claiming to have found more of the ship’s legendary treasure. Clifford told the Associated Press his expedition recently located a big metallic mass that he’s convinced represents most, if not all, of the 400,000 coins and other riches believed to be contained on the ship. “We think we might be at the end of the rainbow,” Clifford said in the recently opened Whydah Pirate Museum on Cape Cod, where many of the expedition’s finds are now showcased. Maritime archaeologists and historians are skeptical, saying that Clifford has had previous false predictions. “Barry Clifford’s many claims can be very exciting, if they can be verified with photographs or scientific proof,” said Paul Johnston, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., who specializes in shipwrecks. “Until then, it’s just talk.”

Owens told New Hampshire Public Radio that customers have been stopping by for photos and to vote at the Ashland farm. He’s already collected a couple hundred ballots. Above the Trump mannequin is a sign that reads, “If I am elected, we will build a wall between Plymouth and Rumney, and Rumney will pay for it,” referring to two nearby towns. Owens plans to tally the just-for-fun votes next month.

Most women are looking at that baby’s picture and smiling. Men, on the other hand, are jealous. I know because I’m one of them. Junior Cox-Noon of the United Kingdom has great hair. Sure, many babies are born with hair but Junior was born with it – and lots of it – and he hasn’t yet lost it. The hirsute baby is more than two months old and still seems to be sporting a wig. His mother, Chelsea, says that it takes two hours to go shopping because awestruck shoppers stop to chat and to stroke Junior’s fuzzy locks. Despite his young age, Junior knows you gotta take care of your hair if you want it to look good. Chelsea blow-dries his hair after baths on the cool setting; it takes too long to dry naturally. But she won’t be cutting it too soon. “It’s too unique, so I’m going to leave it as it is.” Sounds like a good move, although I’d love to borrow some of it for my next date.

The Polling Potty If the presidential election is any indication, our politics are going down the drain. Chris Owens has the right idea when it comes election time. The owner of Owens

Bubby in the Kitchen

Who makes the best stuffed cabbage? Bubby, for sure. What about your special yom tov strudel? Nogymama, of course. We all know that the best cooking comes from our grandmothers’ kitchens. Looking for grandma’s cooking but she’s still playing bingo? At Enoteca Maria,

“nonnas” from around the world take the place of professional chefs. The Staten Island eatery boasts of serving the most authentic, ultimate comfort foods to patrons. Owner Jody Scaravella felt inspired to employ grandmothers at his restaurant after losing his own grandmother, mother, and sister. “I think subconsciously I was just trying to patch those holes in my life and seeing an Italian grandmother in the kitchen cooking was my idea of comfort,” he said. Scaravella started by placing an ad in an Italian-language newspaper calling for “Italian housewives to cook regional dishes.” But it’s not just nonnas who work at the stove. He’s since expanded his team of chefs from those of his own Italian heritage to include grandmothers representing different cultures and ethnicities. At any given time there are two nonnas in the kitchen: one from Italy and one from a different part of the world. A few of the places his cooks hail from include Syria, Poland, Nigeria, Venezuela, Turkey, and France. Enoteca Maria also features one male “nonno” who makes gnocchi, ravioli, and other fresh pasta for the menu. The restaurant has been open for around a decade and has published its own cookbook featuring its most popular nonna recipes. Since the restaurant is not under the Vaad, you may want to spend some time with Bubby over Sukkos to enjoy some good, heimish food.

Fruity Shoes

As we dip the apple in the honey, many of us are throwing the peels away. But there are good uses for apple peels – namely, for shoes and bags. Hong Kong company Life Green is using apple peels from apples grown in Bolzano, Italy, to make their products. The apples are used for juicing and the peels were then burnt. But the company now uses a process which helps to transform the peels into a leather-like substance. It takes just two months to turn peels into bags or shoes. So what do their bags look like? Just like any other leather bag, available in black, red, green or pink. No word on if they’re edible if you’re really hungry one day at work.



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

Around the

Community Inaugural Class of Hadar High School for Girls Hadar High School for Girls opened its inaugural 9th grade class just 6 weeks ago and we have gotten off to a fantastic start. The academic rigor of our educational program both challenges and supports each one of our students at their level. Our Judaic studies and General studies classes allow for differentiation that ensures each student can maximize their individual potential. The Hadar environment facilitates constant growth as a Bas Torah with a focus on not only learning Torah but living a life of Torah observance. Our extra-curricular program includes numerous clubs

such as: chesed, pr/marketing and Israel advocacy that give students a variety of opportunities to explore and express the talents Hashem has given to them. It also includes other types of programs such as: shabbatonim, rosh chodesh chagigas, amazing speakers and much more that provide a fun and healthy outlet for our students to simply enjoy being in school. B�H, we have started our first year with a lot of excitement and we are very much looking forward to seeing what else Hadar High School for Girls has in store for the rest of the year!

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine Affiliates with Donna Klein Jewish Academy for High School Students in Medical Studies Program        Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine has entered into an agreement with the Donna Klein Jewish Academy (DKJA) to permit DKJA high school students who are interested in the fields of medicine and science to participate in educational tours and visits to the University campus. The DKJA Medical Studies Program, which began in August, is offered to students enrolled in a science-based curriculum at DKJA’s Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School.  The affiliation with FAU’s College of Medicine will allow these students the opportunity to visit with medical school faculty, researchers and students during the school year.             “FAU is committed to providing opportunities for young people in our area to become exposed to the healthcare professions,” said Arthur J. Ross, III, M.D., M.B.A., interim dean and professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. “We see this investment of our time

as paying future dividends in terms of inspiring and retaining the next generation of healthcare providers for Palm Beach and Broward counties.” Participants in the DKJA Medical Studies Program will be able to visit research laboratories, spend an afternoon in a clinical simulation laboratory, listen to a lecture on medical ethics, meet with an admissions officer and talk to current students about their experience in medical school. They are encouraged to pursue internships in the medical field and conduct independent research in the fields of medicine and science under the guidance of a DKJA faculty mentor.            To successfully complete the program, DKJA students also must take biology, chemistry, physics and an additional science course during their academic career at Rosenblatt High School. They also are required to participate in the school’s Pre-Med Club for at least two years. Those who meet the requirements

of the program will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and Academic Excellence in the Medical Studies Program. “This new affiliation will greatly enhance programming at Rosenblatt High School,” said Helena Levine, head of school at DKJA. “After completing the Medical Studies Program, our students will have a great advantage and be better prepared as they embark on their post-secondary education. About Donna Klein Jewish Academy: Donna Klein Jewish Academy is a K-12 Jewish Community Day School located in Boca Raton, Florida. Known for

its rigorous curriculum integrating challenging Judaic and general studies, DKJA is the only K-12 Jewish Day School in the country recognized as a Franklin Covey Leader in Me School. In 2015, DKJA was honored as the only Jewish Day School in the world to be selected as a Leader in Me LIGHTHOUSE SCHOOL – demonstrating DKJA’s exemplary achievements as a Leader in Me School.

YTCTE/Rohr Middle School Utilizes Grant to Enhance STEM Education With 5777 well on its way, our science department continues to plant seeds of Greatness in Rohr Middle School. It is a privilege to be part of a school where both Limudei kodesh and General studies staff are committed to providing an environment for our students to grow academically and personally. In sixth and seventh grades we strengthen roots and in eighth grade we focus on the STEM. Thanks to a unique grant from CIJE, The Center for the Initiatives in Jewish Education, our science program has soared with endless opportunities for educational enrichment and learning. Our eighth graders embark on a journey of problem solving and implementing scientific skills and facts as they learn and interact with the field of engineering. Each academic challenge they undertake reinforces the engineering design process and the science knowledge they are currently learning. 

We kicked off the year with the Toothpick Structural Challenge using Dots gum drops and 100 toothpicks to build a structure that would enhance the school. Next, the Marshmallow Design Challenge asked the boys to use 20 strands of spaghetti, a yard of tape, and a yard of string to build a free standing tower that would hold a single marshmallow.  These introductory projects were both skill based and incr“edible”. Our Physics unit is in full gear, and simple machines will be the current focus. This week’s lever challenge really catapulted our boys to new heights. Using teamwork and problem solving as our  goal, our boys are designing, building, testing, and improving their product. Our curriculum, enhanced by CIJE, will allow the boys to explore chemistry, biology, aerospace, and more. Stay tuned for our “Fun with Physics Fundraiser” in December where we invite

the community to see our Rube Goldberg contraptions and hand-made roller coasters. Get a hands on look at how an eighth grader can blossom with a strong and exciting approach to learning and a very solid STEM! About RMS at YTCTE: RMS is the Middle School of YTCTE. Their prestigious STEM program (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is led by none other than the great Mrs. Beth

Health Day at Katz Hillel Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton (KHDS) recently held its’ annual Health Day which brought a variety of programming that engaged students while promoting health and wellness in the Rosalind Henwood Early Childhood Learning Center. The event was planned by Chayim Dimont (Principal, Early Childhood-

Grade 3) along with Program Coordinators and faculty members Sheri Siegel, Lauren Glaun, and Tzippy Wolf, and brought Evolution Fitness, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Teddy Bear Clinic, Oopsy the Clown and KHDS parent and author Lillian Aharon to the school for a health-filled morning of activities. EC2 students at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton give their Teddy Bears check-ups as part of Health Day.

Ruck. She has been a part of the YTCTE :Rohr Middle School faculty since 2005. She is currently teaching science and STEM in all grades. She is incorporating an engineering curriculum in conjunction with CIJE (Center for the Initiatives in Jewish Education) enabling the boys to see STEM in their daily lives and develop problem solving skills and rise to creative challenges Mrs. Ruck is strongly committed to the RMS mission statement : “to ignite the greatness within every student”

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


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John Kirkpatrick and his wife, Shirley, on their farm

Palms and Fronds and Citrons

Meet the Farmers who Grow Our Lulavim and Esrogim in the American Southwest BY BRENDY J. SIEV

Farming Fronds on Futterman Farms

On Futterman Farms, in Riverside County, in Indio, California, Arthur and Gale Futterman grow lulavim. Their date farm, on a four-and-a-half acre ranch, grows the premier Dayri date trees whose leaves become perfect and prized lulavim. Two weeks into this year’s lulav harvest, I speak to Arthur Futterman as he comes in from another 110-degree workday in the Coachella Valley. “Phoenix isn’t hot enough,” he chuckles. Originally from southern Iraq, Dayri date palms can grow in very few parts of the United States. They need extreme heat, Futterman tells me, and the heat must be dry. But

their love of desert heat doesn’t stop them from drinking: on a typical 105-degree day, a single date palm requires 185 gallons of water. The rain-free Futterman Farms gets its irrigation from a canal that draws water from the Colorado River. So Futterman Farms, a drive from Palm Springs, is the perfect location. Currently, Arthur Futterman has 120 producing trees; 120 young trees are not yet producing. These trees have been coaxed from saplings that sprout off the sides of older palms, as it is nearly impossible to grow healthy Dayri trees from seeds. Once mature, a good palm tree produces approxi-

mately 18 new fronds per year. The lulav is the very center leaf that hasn’t emerged and opened. Once thorns are out of the way, the young frond is cut just enough so more will grow. In order to keep the palms alive and healthy, only between six and eight fronds can be cut per year. That means six to eight lulavim come from each Dayri palm annually. After each lulav cutting, the lulavim are sent to a local facility for preserving them until Succos. The last cuts are packed well in crates and overnighted through FedEx to their distribution centers. Dayri palm trees can grow 80 feet tall. Of course, past 40 feet, it becomes too difficult to harvest lulavim

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


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I ask, how did Arthur Futterman, a devout Bible College graduate, end up in the Succos business? Decades ago, Futterman teamed up with the son of his father’s old friend. Both were interested in farming; Futterman had worked on several farms before. Both were considering growing dates. “It’s gratifying,” says Futterman. “Dates are a magnificent fruit.” He then lists the benefits of dates—their 26 antioxidants, high iron, magnesium, and potassium content, and their role in reducing colon cancer tumors. After finishing his degree at Bible College and graduating in 1988, he and his wife set out in a UHaul for the farming life. “She was two-and-a-half months pregnant. We entered the town at midnight. She got out of the truck, and it was 105 degrees. She started to cry.” But that’s the farming life. Twenty-nine years later, Futterman laughs, Arthur and Gale have put a lot of work into their farm, selling their dates at farmer’s markets and living on farmer’s wages. They grow organic date palms and harvest the dates for sale, especially the Medjool and Barhi breeds. But back when they pulled up in that U-Haul, he tells me, Futterman did not anticipate an email he received ten years ago from Shulem Ekstein from Kiryas Joel seeking to grow Dayri date palms in the United States. The man had been trying to connect with someone willing to grow the palms and farm them for him. Futterman, who had only the vaguest knowledge of Succos (Tabernacles?), knew an old date farmer who, in his 80s, was retiring. He gave the frum Ekstein family 900 offshoots. Futterman agreed to plant some of them. Now, Futterman is one of four farmers who have a special leasing-growing agreement with the Ekstein family to grow Dayri palms for lulavim. Why Dayris? Futterman grows serious when explaining the detailed halachos of kosher lulavim. “There are four requirements for kosher lulavim,” he declares. The lulav must be straight, green, and closed. The middle leaf must have a tip like a pleat. If it’s open, it’s not good. Medjool palms, that are plentiful in the United States (just note the number of Medjool dates in the supermarket), produce lulavim whose center leaf opens quickly, rendering it unkosher. The Dayri’s center pleat stays closed nicely. There are fewer than 10,000 Dayri palms in the United States, let alone those grown for lulavim. But from 300 palms, farmers recently have coaxed 2,000 offshoots that are just now being planted. It will take years for them, however, to be ready for harvest. Now it’s my turn. Two feet in front of my Miami kitchen window stand two palm trees, I tell Futterman. Sixteen feet further, on my front lawn, stand four more. Their leaves fan and bend like palm fronds are supposed to in all the tourist brochures, but right

in the center of the leaves stand a single green stick, a tall, ramrod straight, unopened palm frond. A lulav? Not so fast, says Futterman. He quickly lists the types of palms found in Florida. Those ubiquitous trees have plenty of fronds, but they don’t meet the halachic requirements for kosher lulavim. Oh, well. We’ll just use them for Florida schach. My final question for Futterman: Why do you do this? “For the holiday and the people,” he says. I can tell he’s smiling.

Citron California: John Kirkpatrick’s Esrog Trees

On five acres of John Kirkpatrick’s California farm grow 800 esrog trees. He is the only kosher esrog grower in the United States. “Less than five percent of the citrons make it to

program lesson plans on Succos esrogim. Back in 1979, Kirkpatrick worked as a citrus farmer and real estate agent. He received a call from an Orthodox man in Brooklyn who was looking for someone to grow esrog trees for him. They spoke for an hour. “You’re talking to the person,” he said at the time. And so Kirkpatrick diversified his farm. He woke up every day at 5:30 and worked until bedtime at 9. He tended to his citrus trees: lemons, tangelos, mandarins, and pomegranates. And he planted esrog tree seedlings from Israel—including the Braverman, Halpern, Chazon Ish, and Teimani varieties (among others). “We limped along for 14 years,” he says. “Fortunately, we didn’t destroy the trees’ integrity.” During that time, he learned about Jewish culture and what it takes to observe all halachic laws and traditions connected to growing and harvesting kosher esrogim. After 14 years, he brought in an Israeli consultant. Kirkpatrick also visited Israel for a week, noting that his farm’s climate is most similar to the area halfway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He visited esrog farms across Israel, observing the construction of their trellising, the way Israeli esrog farmers discipline their trees, and irrigate their farms. After that, he quickly became the only successful esrog grower in the U.S.


quality market,” says John. While he does market non-kosher esrogim to local green grocers and to three distilleries for citron vodka, most esrogim that show signs of being non-kosher are “dropped” off the trees before they even ripen. This ensures that only those most likely to be kosher are cultivated and cared for. Lindcove Ranch, located in Tulare County, one of the major citrus counties in California, is inland from the coast. The farm, in Exeter, California, is posed in the perfect geographical location for raising esrogim. While well over 300,000 esrogim are exported from Israel, Italy, and Morocco, Kirkpatrick’s five acres produce up to six percent—a significant portion—of the total world production. That is why Kirkpatrick is the only successful citron grower in the United States. Several other farms are trying to grow kosher esrogim; none are currently successful. His farm is even featured in PJ Library

non-Jew, Kirkpatrick comes from a long line of farmers who started farming in North Carolina, Kansas, and Illinois. By the early 20th century, they came to California and began citrus farming. Kirkpatrick and his son, who is taking over the daily farming operations, have been working on bringing the farm into the 21st century, “one innovation at a time.” At this point, the farm has special cold storage for storing citrus; this ensures that they can start picking esrogim in early July and storing them so that they will be ready for Succos in the fall. The esrogim are even boxed on-site. Esrogim and their care is a full-time job. Kirkpatrick’s esrogim, certified by Rabbi Avraham Teichman, are nurtured by five full-time staffers, rather than seasonal workers. The workers are Seventh-Day Adventists, so that the orchards “rest” on Shabbos. Because esrogim require skilled workers, Kirkpatrick’s staff is not only respectful and serious about their work, but they have been working on esrogim for years. In fact, one lead staffer has been caring for these esrog trees for 28 years. Kirkpatrick has a special incentive program to reward their efforts and recognize the importance of doing work correctly. “If it has a California appellation, it should be good,” he says with pride. And while his esrogim are primarily sold in New England, citron vodka, an increasingly popular drink, is produced all over. One distillery, owned by an Orthodox family is southern California, uses Kirkpatrick’s esrogim for Sukkah Hill Etrog Liqueur, a kosher for Passover, “grain-neutral” spirit. “We are immersed in this,” says Kirkpatrick. “We produce fruit that qualifies for performance of the TJH mitzvah.” 

T H E J E W I S H H O M E n MOAY C T O2 B4 E, R2012 7 , 2014

or dates, and so the palms are sold or given to landscapers. Futterman’s palms are still under seven feet. Of course, to be kosher, even the non-Jewish farmer Futterman must wait the requisite four years before touching the tree.


OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home


‘Say Cheese’ Markus Cohn

Sukkos is a great time of year for a family picture. In some cities, the fall foliage just begs to be the backdrop of a picture while here in Florida the summer humidity has broken and standing outside is a lot more pleasurable. In that spirit, I’d like to share some tips on making the best of these few weeks when families are together. 1. Choose the right scenery The days of JC Penny fall foliage backgrounds for your family portraits are long gone. And while photo studios have tried to create fun, realistic and more creative props, nothing can outdo the outdoors. Open areas with a unified look, like a field with trees. Or on the beach with sand, horizon and sky as a backdrop. One area I find particularly fun is the Wynwood Walls in Miami. You can find just about any wall design that fits your fami-

ly’s personality. (see photo) 2. Keep it Interesting Coordinating colors and patterns pull a group together and make the picture fun to look at. It also gives much more personality to the photo and each person in it. Keep color pallets similar and don’t mix bright tones and muted tones. For example, say you want to have a tan/red/black/ white color scheme. You can insert just those colors in the form of ties, hair bows, shoes or a belt. But be mindful of your surroundings and try to wear colors that stand out from your background. 3. Act Natural There’s aren’t wedding photos! There’s no need to line up in height order, shoulder to shoulder to capture a great family shot. Relax and be natural. When working with younger kids, it’s nearly impossible to get them all looking forward and smiling at the same second so let them show their personality a little with their signature look that really captures who they are. Remember, this is a family picture, not a stock photo. (see photo) 4. Take Turns

When it comes time to chose your pictures, you don’t need to look at multiple shots of the same set up. Try getting creative like, all the boys or just girls in addition to your traditional whole family shots. If you have multiple generations present, try same gender lineage shots like a grandfather-father-son group. 5. Stand Tall Always remember to keep your shoulders up. A good thing to help you visualize this is to try to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. You might have a slouching habit from looking down at your smart phone all the time, but when you are looking at a large blown up canvas print of the family you don’t want that to be what sticks out. 6. Invest in the Right Equipment Pictures taken on your iPhone can capture some fun memories but there’s just no

PLAYGROUP Call: (786) 315-6090

substitute for the quality of pictures taken with a DSLR camera. Using the right equipment, lenses, and lighting can make all the difference in the quality of your pictures. If you’re looking for pictures that will adorn your walls for years and will be turned into calendars, pillow cases and puzzles, you’ll want to make sure that they are the highest quality. Markus Cohn has enjoyed and studied photography for the past 8 years and a picture he set up and shot of two fawns was recently shown on National Geographic Online. This past summer he was the staff photographer at Camp Yagilu in Pennsylvania. He likes to photograph both people and products and has an affinity for nature shots. He also takes arial photography using drones for both commercial and family photos. He can be contacted through his website

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Shimon Peres

A Controversial and Combative Leader By Nachum Soroka


he death of Shimon Peres last week symbolized the closing of the beginning chapters of the State of Israel. David Ben Gurion himself, Israel’s first prime minister, whom Peres fought beneath in the Haganah while the country was still Palestine, appointed the 29-year-old Peres to his first governmental position in 1953 as Israel’s first Director of Defense. He was

active in politics until 2014, when the term to his (largely ceremonial) presidency was complete. Originally a hawkish leader who was one of the masterminds of Israel’s’ nuclear program (which is still officially a secret), Peres helped start the left wing Labor party in the 1960s and was eventually the catalyst of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the recipient of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the last surviving founding father of

the state. Born Szymon Perski in 1923 in modern day Belarus to a timber merchant and librarian, Peres was a descendant of Rav Chaim Volozhin zt”l. His grandfather was responsible for teaching him Gemara and all Jewish matter, as his parents were not observant. He one time related, “At one point, I heard my parents listening to the radio on the Sabbath and I smashed it.” He recalled being taken to

the Chofetz Chaim as a child and receiving a bracha, for which he credited his survival and success in politics. He later said of his grandfather, “I remember the last words and the order that I heard from his mouth: ‘My boy, always remain a Jew!’” Many of his family members were murdered in the Holocaust. His grandfather was among those locked in the shul and burned by the Nazis. In 1932, the Perski fam-

ily emigrated to Tel Aviv, and Shimon helped found Kibbutz Alumot in 1936. Always active in the Zionist movement, he was elected to the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed national secretariat, where the promising youth came under the attention of David Ben Gurion, the head of Mapai, Peres’s party. In 1944, on a clandestine map-making mission to Eilat, a friend suggested he change his name to Peres – which means a



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With Prime Minister Rabin and the released hostages from the famous Entebbe raid in 1976 Defense Minister Peres with Yitzhak Rabin

With Ben Gurion at Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona

nest of eagles – after sighting an eagle, and the name stuck. Perhaps with a tinge of irony, the bird sighted was most likely a vulture. In 1945 Peres married Sonya Gelman and in 1946 was sent to the Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, along with Moshe Dayan. Shortly before Israel’s establishment, Peres joined the Haganah. In 1948, after being named head of the nascent country’s navy, the 27-yearold Peres left to New York on a mission, knowing no English. Within three months he was fluent in the language and was able to study at NYU, New School and Harvard. He was a polyglot, speaking Polish, French, English, Russian, Yiddish and Hebrew. Peres was a polarizing figure who at many times

was motivated only by a desire for power, something which he was never able to completely attain. He only served briefly as de facto prime minister at a couple of junctures – such as after the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin –despite having bid for the office on numerous occasions. His two short stints in Israel’s top office did not come through popular vote. Indeed, Peres’s split in 1965 with his original party, Mapai, was because of differences he and Ben Gurion had with the other members of the party. The newly formed party, Rafi, ended up reconciling with Mapai, but in the course of the political turmoil overtaking the country in the months leading up to the Six Day War, the fractious environment in the Knesset Peres helped create allowed

Ben Gurion’s sworn enemy, Menachem Begin, who led the far-right Cherut party, to gain legitimacy. Begin was eventually awarded the prime minister’s office in 1977, perhaps only because of the events caused by Peres a decade earlier. Originally a self described hawk who followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Ben Gurion, Peres was one of the earliest champions of settlements in the West Bank and other disputed territories. In 1956 he was awarded the highest

and Britain. His special relationship with the French, who ended up providing the necessary expertise in building the Dimona nuclear reactor later, proved critical to Israel. “I reached the stage in France where I was trusted by everybody, and really the sky was the limit,” Peres boasted many years later. But politics forced his views to evolve, and in the 1970s he began to distance himself from the settlement movement. Peres even met secretly with King Hus-

graces of Turkey. His stance forced the Israeli Foreign Ministry into the awkward position of appeasing Armenian survivors while not stepping on Turkey’s toes. In 1996, Peres founded the Peres Center for Peace, which has the aim of “promot[ing] lasting peace and advancement in the Middle East by fostering tolerance, economic and technological development, cooperation and well-being.” As president he ceaselessly pressed for peace. “The Palestinian problem

“For 60 years I was the most controversial figure in the country, and suddenly I’m the most popular man in the land. Truth be told, I don’t know when I was happier, then or now.”

medal of the French Legion of Honor for his role negotiating $1 billion in arms sales from France to Israel, which allowed Israel to attack Egypt though the Sinai, a military operation known as the Suez Crisis involving Israel, the U.S., France

sein of Jordan in the 1980s in London, in the hopes of reaching a peaceful agreement with the Palestinians. He sought to placate many of Israel’s hostile neighbors, going so far as to downplay the Armenian genocide in order to get in the good

isn’t the main problem in the Middle East. But there are a billion and a half Muslims. The Palestinian problem affects our entire relationship with them. Peace is not an exciting thing, and it entails accepting many compromises and tedious

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin receiving the Nobel Peace Prize

Smiling at Yasser Arafat

details,” he told the New York Times. Most recently, he created a firestorm in Israel, when, as president, he publically disagreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desire to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, despite opposition from Washington. “I cannot tell you what Bibi’s considerations are on the subject of Iran. I am not his spokesman and also not Barak’s. Israel cannot solve the problem alone,” he said. “There is a limit to what we can do.” The man who helped create the nuclear reactors in Dimona and headed the country’s navy in the most tremulous times was offering up dovish views. Still, he made sure

to let it be known that Israel would not sit idly as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke of genocide. “The president of Iran should remember that Iran can also be wiped off the map,” he told Army radio.


eres’s political life was very much intertwined with that of his primary adversary and Labor party companion, Yitzchak Rabin. The two rivals’ career vicissitudes often negatively correlated. In 1973, Peres sought leadership of the party after the Yom Kippur War, and Rabin was recruited from within the

With Prime Minister Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan in the 1960s

party ranks to oppose him. Rabin won that battle and again in 1976, after the Air France hijacking in Uganda, Peres led a bid to have Rabin replaced as prime minister with himself. He finally was able to take over the party’s top spot, if only for a month, after Rabin was forced to step down after a scandal involving his wife having a foreign bank account – which was illegal at the time – came to light. But by then Menachem Begin’s party had enough seats to wrest control from Labor. Again, in 1984, Peres was able to briefly serve as prime minister, but only under a “rotation” agreement with Likud leader Yitzchak Shamir, who took over after Peres served two years. Then in 1990, Peres secretly looked to undermine Shamir’s leadership by aligning with Agudah in an attempt to dissolve the coalition in place at the time with a no confidence vote for the Likud government in place. But Peres’s movement, which became known as Hatargil Hamaasriach, the “Dirty Trick,” quickly came apart after Rav Schach, Hacham Ovadia Yosef and the Lubavitcher Rebbe con-

demned the idea of religious politicians serving in a leftist government. At the time Rabin denigrated Peres, saying, “This bluff and corruptibility which came into the Israeli political life in an attempt to form a narrow government failed not only tactically but also conceptually.” Peres experienced his greatest political success as a foreign minister in Rabin’s government. It was in that role that he was able to bring the PLO and Israel to the negotiation table, proclaiming, “We are leaving behind us the era of belligerency and are striding together toward peace.” Even then, Rabin attempted to marginalize Peres and claim most of the credit for what was at the time viewed as the turning point for hostilities in the Middle East. Since 2007, when he was appointed to the State’s presidency, Peres was transformed from a polarizing, back-room wheeler dealer to a symbolic pioneer who promoted dialogue and culture. “For 60 years I was the most controversial figure in the country, and suddenly I’m the most popular man in the land. Truth be told,

I don’t know when I was happier, then or now,” he quipped of the change. His wit never failed. When a well-wisher said on his 88th birthday that he should live until 120, he shot back, “Don’t be stingy.” In December 2015, when a rumor of his death took over the internet, he replied on his Facebook page, “I’m continuing with my daily schedule as usual to do whatever I can to assist the State of Israel and its citizens.” “When you say, as I do, that you are a confirmed optimist, you are seen as unbalanced. But if you look at history, you will see that it is an ongoing failure for pessimism, not for optimism,” he recently said. After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Peres was sentimental, “An ancient Greek philosopher was asked what is the difference between war and peace. ‘In war,’ he replied, ‘the old bury the young. In peace, the young bury the old.’ I felt that if I could make the world better for the young, that would be the greatest thing we can do.” He most definitely tried.





OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home


Centerfold kidding

You gotta be

A rookie pitcher was struggling at the mound, so the catcher walked out to have a talk with him. “I’ve figured out your problem,” he told the pitcher. “You always lose control at the same point in every game.” “When is that?” “Right after the national anthem.”

Baseball Playoff Facts

Riddle me


During a baseball game, the first baseman, Johnnie, was his team’s leadoff hitter. There were no substitutions or changes in the batting order at all during the nine inning game. Johnnie batted in every inning. What is the least number of runs that his team could have scored in the game? See answer on next page


The World Series began in 1903 to make peace between the two rival baseball leagues, the American League and the National League. B

New York Giants’ manager John McGraw so hated the American League in 1904 that his team refused to play in the World Series. B

Reggie Jackson once hit three homeruns on three consecutive pitches in a World Series game. B

Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson (no relation) hit back-to-back homeruns in the 1966 playoffs as members of the Baltimore Orioles. In 2014 J.D. Martinez and Victor Martinez (no relation) did the same thing for the Detroit Tigers in the post-season. B

“The dreams are that you’re gonna have a great series and win. The nightmares are that you’re gonna let the winning run score on a ground ball through your legs. Those things happen, you know. I think a lot of it is just fate.” – Bill Buckner in an interview several days before he allowed Mookie Wilson’s dribbler to ramble through his legs, leading to the Mets beating the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. B

The Braves won the World Series in three different cities: Boston (1914), Milwaukee (1957), and Atlanta (1995). B

More people have walked on the moon (12) than men who have scored against Mariano Rivera in the postseason (11).

The Jewish Home | OCTOBER 29, 2015 The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

MLB Post-Season Trivia 1. Which team has been in every American League Champion Series (ALCS) between the years 1995 and 2001? a. Red Sox b. Yankees c. Orioles d. Mariners 2. Who threw down the Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer in Game 3 of the ALCS in 2003? a. Pedro Martinez b. David Ortiz c. Manny Ramirez d. Curt Schilling 3. Which of the following sluggers hit at least 25 homeruns in postseason play? a. Manny Ramirez b. Reggie Jackson c. Babe Ruth d. Mickey Mantle 4. Which Giants hitter hit “the shot heard round the world” in the 1951 playoff win over the Dodgers? a. Carl Erskine b. Don Newcombe

c. Bobby Thompson d. Ralph Branca 5. Who has played in the most postseason games in MLB history? a. Billy Martin b. Yogi Berra c. Derek Jeter d. Reggie Jackson 6. When did the MLB add the wild card round to the playoffs? a. 1956 b. 1974 c. 1994 d. 2002 7. Which team holds the record for most consecutive playoff appearances? a. Yankees b. Dodgers c. Cardinals d. Braves Answers: 1. B 2. A - When the Yankees and Red Sox had a bench clearing

brawl, Zimmer charged towards Pedro Martinez. Martinez grabbed Zimmer by his rather large bald head and threw him to the ground. Not nice. 3. A 4. C - The “shot heard ‘round the world” is the game-winning three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth by New York Giants Bobby Thomson at the Polo Grounds in New York City, to win the 1951 National League (NL) pennant over the Dodgers. That was the first game ever broadcast on television. 5. C - Jeter played in 154 postseason games. 6. C 7. D - The Braves made the playoffs from 1991 through 2005. Scorecard: 6-7 correct: Boom! It is high it is far … it is gone! The Shot Heard Around the Centerfold! 3-5 correct: Congrats! You are in the wild card. 0-2 correct: You win front row tickets to see the Mets play in the wild card game at Shea Stadium!



Answer to Riddle: Zero. In the first inning John and the next two batters walk and the next three strike out. In the second inning, the first three walk again, which brings John back to bat. But each runner is caught off base by the pitcher, so John is back at the plate at the start of the third inning. This pattern is now repeated until the game ends.


OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

By ReBBeTzin TzipoRah helleR

In the very impermanence of the sukkah lies its security, because here we realize we are not alone!

Seeing G-D’s Presence The holiday itself celebrates the fact that as we traveled forty years in the desert, we were surrounded by G-d’s presence. The physical manifestation of His encompassing love and protection were the clouds that encircled us. The laws concerning the construction of the sukkah are there to provide us with the opportunity to relive the experience of feeling G-d’s life-force surrounding us without the distractions that blind us to Him. By leaving the deceptive permanence of our homes, we let go of the first and most damaging illusion that blocks our inner eye from seeing G-d’s presence. This is the illusion that material security protects our vulnerability. But nothing material is eternal; the feeling of security and stability that comes from possessions is transient. The only enduring possession that any of us have is our essence. Still, the illusion of permanence is one that we are reluctant to surrender, because, without it, we feel as if we are abandoned to an unknowable fate. The solid stone, bricks and mortar of our homes create the ambiance of security which is not real. The inherent impermanence of the sukkah forces us into encountering reality. But in the very impermanence of the sukkah lies its security, because here we realize we are not alone! The reality that we face does not have

to terrify us. The schach symbolizes to us that the world in which we live is very much one in which G-d is with us. Although there is more darkness than light, we still see the stars. The sukkah is a living allegory for our world, which presents us with far more questions than there are answers that human wisdom can provide. However, what makes this world a place of meaning rather than one of despair is the fact that we can see what the stars embody – brilliance and illumination. We yearn for meaning and we find it when we focus our inner eye on the stars. The Talmud tells us that it is no coincidence that the time of year that we celebrate our trust in G-d is the fall. The timing of Sukkot seems almost arbitrary. After all, our stay in the desert took place over forty years, rather than a particular week in the year. The timing of Sukkot, no less than the physical structure of the sukkah, is an integral statement of our identity. We are not leaving our homes for relief from the heat of summer; we are leaving our homes to experience our vulnerability. It is only then that we are not blinded to G-d’s love. Paths Of The Just Feeling beloved is not always easy. We all have times in our lives in which our faith is sorely tested. We lose sight of the invisible clouds of glory and fire that surround us. The classical 18th century mussar work, “The Paths of the Righteous,” explains how we often blind ourselves to the stars and presents four different ways to a solution. One way to clear our vision is to recognize that

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015

G-d is far more compassionate than we are. It is only through His mercy that we survive either physically or emotionally all the absurd errors of judgment that have taken us to the brink of disaster. We have always been enveloped in His cloud. When we reflect on the compassion we have experienced as a result of His presence in our lives in the past, we get a new take on the present and the future. Hope suddenly seems pragmatic and realistic, while despair can be seen a naïve escape mechanism, which is what it is. Another way to clear our vision is to become aware that all of the acts of kindness that have been done on our behalf by friends and relatives, ultimately are from G-d. We have paid for nothing – not the air we breathe, nor the earth upon which we stand – nor for the means by which other human beings can help us. The inspiration from their altruism stems from G-d; what they do for us is a gift from G-d. We can never begin to repay what we have received not only from humans, but from G-d. We must be willing to be vulnerable enough to feel gratitude. This thought counteracts the “entitlement” mentality that clouds our ability to recognize goodness. The third way to clear our vision is to re-define the word “possible.” We must always keep in mind that with G-d anything is truly possible because G-d is not limited by any restrictions. Nothing can happen against His will, and nothing can prevent His will from being realized. Observing the ceaseless movement of the constellations and their timeless beauty can bring us back to this realization. We are in G-d’s hand just as they are. While the people in our lives may affect us, ultimately they are not more than His agents. The final thought in Rabbi Luzzatto’s collection is that facing challenges is what life is for. We Jews are not designed for “permanent housing.” We were designed for the sukkah. The idealization of complacency has never sat well with us. When we are forced to travel the fast lane, we can be energized or frightened. It is a choice that we all make in the moments in which our faith is tested. The more we can envision the eternity of the sukkah, the more we can welcome the trek through whatever type of “desert” G-d requires us to travel. These four ways can be transformational. What is even more powerful is actually coming into contact with the mitzvah of sukkah in the literal sense. Our nature is that we are less readily moved by realizations and thoughts than by actions, because actions often redefine our capacity to think along new and untried patterns. May this year bring us the joy of learning to feel and acknowledge what has been true all along. We are in G-d’s sukkah and always have been. 


he specifications for building a sukkah are both arcane and fascinating. The roof must be built from material (which is called schach) that comes from living source. Branches, bamboo in its various forms, and palm fronds are popular choices. It must be arranged in a way in which the amount of shade is greater than the amount of sunshine that can enter the sukkah. The arrangement of the schach should be such as to give us a view of the stars. In addition, the sukkah itself must be constructed in a way in which it is an inherently temporary structure. While it may have permanent walls (it may have four, but is ritually fit even with two and a half walls), its roof must be of an interim nature. The roof, therefore, must be rebuilt yearly. Throughout the holiday, we are required to spend as much time as possible in the sukkah and to treat it as our home. This often opens us to reflecting on the fact that by this time of year the weather is rather nippy, and had the holiday been set a month earlier we would find the sukkah a comfortable shady spot to sit in the balmy weather. Let us examine each detail of these laws in order to grasp the elation that this, the most joyous of all holidays, can bring us.


The Sukkah Experience

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The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

Oy! or Joy! Scott Bugay

Dominican immigrant Pedro Quezada was working fifteen-hour days at a bodega in Passaic, New Jersey. Apparently working at the bodega was not financially lucrative as his primary mode of transportation was his feet. However, in March, 2013 Mr. Quezada hit the jackpot. He was a $338 Million dollar Powerball Jackpot Winner. His reaction: “I felt pure joy”. For many lottery winners the joy is short term. Very short term. According to Robert Pagliarini, in the Forbes article titled “Why Lottery Winners Crash After A Big Win,” immediately after a sudden wealth event there is what’s called a ‘honeymoon stage.’ Many people may buy items like new cars, larger houses, jet skis and motorcycles. After the honeymoon stage, according to Pagliarini, there can be a non-stop barrage of drama. Pagliarini cited Willie Seeley, another Jackpot winner, who complained he was bombarded by the media for interviews and by family members many of which he never heard of – who would hit him up for unwarranted loans and financial favors. What’s more, Pagliarini cited the case of Andrew “Jack” Whittaker who said that after winning $315 Million dollar Powerball Jackpot he was robbed, lost his granddaughter, was sued numerous times and found respite from all the pressure in gambling. Mr. Whittaker said “I wish I’d torn that ticket up” and that he wished the lottery never entered his life. Many people think that money, sudden wealth or some other form of materialism will bring them great joy. These people will likely find it hard to believe that in Judaism a defining moment of true joy is centered in the holiday of Sukkot - a time when we vacate our homes, remove ourselves from materialism and dwell in a hut-like structure called a Sukkah for a seven day period. We know this to be true because, in regard to Sukkot, the Torah mentions joy, or a derivative thereof, three times -- which is more founded and frequent than any other holiday. “And you shall rejoice before the L-rd your G-d for a seven day period” (Lev. 23:4), “And you shall rejoice in your festival” (Deut. 16:14) “And you shall be completely joyous” (Deut. 16:15). There are a number of reasons we are

joyous during this holiday. Spiritually, we just completed the reflection and purity of the High Holy Days. Agriculturally, we rejoice over the ingathering of the yearly harvest. Historically, we commemorate the forty-year period when we wandered in the desert living in temporary shelters (sukkot). We commemorate the latter by dwelling in the sukkah. In effect, this becomes an inherent connection with nature acting as a reminder of the beauty associated with just gazing at the clouds or at a calming sunset. It becomes a time to enjoy the fresh air; a subtle reminder that the simple things in life should bring us joy. But, in Judaism, joy is not just limited to the holiday of Sukkot. Certain life cycle events such as the birth of a child, a circumcision (Brit), a bar or bat mitzvah or a wedding are also designed to bring us joy. This is most evident by the blessings we recite at these events, particularly at a wedding in which there are numerous references to joy (simcha). However, the reason these events bring us joy may be different than what we might think. After the birth of a child the baby is named and a blessing is recited to raise the child to Torah, marriage and good deeds. At a circumcision the child is brought into the covenant of Abraham. At a bar or bat mitzvah the young adult accepts the commandments. The wedding is the initial step for the young couple to continue our heritage as a family unit. The common denominator in all of these occurrences is that we are joyous at the responsibilities which each event brings forth. After the birth of a child, we are not celebrating that the new baby continues the family name or in years to come will possibly run the family business but rather in our new found responsibility to raise this child to Torah, marriage and good deeds. As the child reaches bar or bat mitzvah we are not joyous that their grades will get them into a prestigious university but in the fact that they can now accept the yoke of the commandments. And at the marriage canopy we are not celebrating our children’s financial independence but rather the union of our children and their ability to come together as a team to continue our longstanding traditions. In other words, we celebrate our ob-

ligations and responsibilities to perform certain commandments bestowed upon us and our loved ones. Our joy, stemming from certain life-altering events, does not result from the perceived benefits other people can provide to us. One of the definitions of joy in Merriam-Webster is a source or cause of great happiness: something or someone that gives joy to someone. Sadly, this definition does not relate the concept of joy with any sense of responsibility or obligation. Perhaps, though, pure joy is being able to enjoy or experience the simple things in life with our loved ones while maintaining the perspective that even joyous occasions

come with a set of responsibilities and obligations. This is the true message of the holiday of Sukkot as well as our milestone celebrations. And if we are lacking a part of this joy then we are left with an Oy! … just ask the many lottery winners. Scott is an attorney admitted to the Florida Bar since 1994 and whose principle office is in North Miami Beach. He practices in the areas of probate, guardianship and social security disability throughout the State of Florida. His website address is He can be reached at (800) 323-6290.

Sara Raskind, RN BSN CLC, is a Registered Nurse specializing in maternal child health and a Certified Lactation Counselor.



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

Credit Card Companies are Increasingly Regulating the Industry – Get your Cards before they’re gone! Recently, several prominent credit cards have seen a makeover in terms of regulation and application restrictions which are leaving longtime customers high and dry. Both Chase and CitiBank

have introduced new guidelines regarding eligibility for new cards, specifically irking travel gurus who utilize their cards and points to maximize on rewards and travel. Chase is one of the most accessible

and well known Banks in the U.S. - it should come as no surprise that with great cards such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, it has become fairly common for people to apply for several of their rewards cards




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simultaneously for ultimate value. To the dismay of Chase loyalists everywhere, the 5/24 rule has taken over. What this means is that “Chase will not issue you a

new Chase credit card if you have opened 5 or more credit cards over the past 24 months.” To add

insult to injury, this even includes any card in which the applicant is considered an authorized user. Theoretically, a person with outstanding credit and years of customer loyalty would be duly denied without reprieve. Ouch. On August 28th CitiBank updated their rules regarding rewards, effectively limiting what customers will be able to receive in terms of “sign up bonuses” for the future. They now only allow their customers to receive a sign up bonus every 24 months, per “type” of card. What does this mean? That you won’t be able to earn a Citi ThankYou credit card signup bonus if you opened or closed ANY Citi ThankYou cards within the past 24 months. In addition, this rule also applies to Citi’s other cobranded cards, such as Citi AAdvantage cards and Citi Hilton cards. To clarify – Let’s look at the evolution of the coveted Citi Prestige card “Bonus Rules” Old rules- Bonus ThankYou Points not available if you have had a Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months Now the following new terms are listed: New Rules- Bonus ThankYou points are not available if you have had ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months. What this means for the mile churning and savvy 21st century credit card user is that keeping up with the CC companies rules and regulations is a constantly changing task, which can make a big difference on your wallet. In order to stay on top of all updates and amendments, tune in to our follow up blog where we’ll give you tips on which cards are still available and worth signing up for as well as potential loopholes around these new rules. REMEMBER, don’t let your points/miles sit idle, as they might be devalued or altered when it comes to value and reward! Get PEYD is the leading credit card reward and travel agency. For more information, visit

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


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Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Joe Bobker

“Jewish life is a symphony whose score is the Torah, whose composer is G-d, whose orchestra is the Jewish people, and whose most moving performance is on Simchas Torah.” - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks


ewish mystics, fascinated by the form of a circle, incorporated “circling” into many life-todeath ceremonies. Consider: brides circle the groom, Jews circle a cemetery (or coffin) at funerals, the Talmud even nicknamed R’ Honi from Jerusalem the “Circle-Drawer” because he would draw a circular ring, stand inside, pray for rain and not leave until his prayers were answered. And they had a field day in “closing” the circle on Simchas Torah by taking the last letter (lamed) of the last word (Yisrael) and adding it to the first letter (bet, or vet without the dot) of the Torah’s first word (Bereishis), to arrive at lev (“heart”) to symbolize the Torah as the heart of the Jewish people. Commenting on the fact that there is no specific

mitzvah allocated to the dual festivities of Shemini Atzeres-Simchas Torah, R’ Henoch of Alexandria traced this to its “conclusionary” (azteret) status, “It is a day on loan from the future, for, in the future, all active mitzvot will be annulled, and all Torah will be in the mind.” This “conclusionary” aspect of the festival, he continues, is symbolized by the power of the “circle,” akin to a hakafa, a self-contained shape that flows with no dramatic beginning nor end, suggesting an endless spiral in a world that knows no boundaries or limits. Simchas Torah swings between two extremes: from the somber elements of the just concluded Elul-Tishrei cycle to the hyperactive Purim-like command Sisu v’simchu be’simchat Torah, “rejoice with the Rejoic-

ing of the Law.” One moment we are repeating many of the most lofty piyutim from Yom Kippur; the next minute we are singing and drinking the yom tov away, even getting drunk…but not too drunk! In the only introductory paragraph in Mishnah Berurah, the Chofetz Chaim prefaces his chapter on Simchas Torah with a warning against excessive drinking. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for conventional shul decorum, Simchas Torah ain’t it: this is no orderly davening; members wander in and out noisily, circulate, chat, make Kiddush, sing, dance, give out candies and cookie to kids running around, all within a service of levity. I still recall crawling on the floor collecting the miniature flags from the apples. The central custom of the yom tov are the haka-



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

of Spain, Provence, and Germany sought uniformity. They accelerated the cycle to an annual one and chose to end it not at Pesach-time as was the then-custom, but on the last day of Succas. Why? Because this period was already heavily laden with halachik laws of joy and gaiety.

The rich soil of the Torah can be harvested on so many levels that each time one opens a page, even the same page, one discovers a new experience, a new adventure.


imchas Torah is the only time of the year when the Torah reading is done at nighttime. Why? I don’t know. But why read the Torah again, and again, and again? Why not just study it once thoroughly, then discuss, debate, dispute it at will? The answer comes to use from Rabbi Yosef Josel Hurvitz, der alter fun Novardok, who told his

students that the rich soil of the Torah, a Zohar concept, can be “harvested” on so many levels that each time one opens a page, even the same page, one discovers a new experience, a new adventure. And the more one looks, the more one finds; the more one finds, the more one understands; the more one understands, the more one “grows.” Does this mean that Simchas Torah is a day dedicated to learning Torah? No. It is a day of praising the process of and commending the method of, but not necessarily the learning of, Torah. The obvious question is this: If Simchas Torah and Torah are “as One,” why do we need Shavuos, or vice versa? Remember: the giving of the Torah as represented by Shavuos chronologically precedes Simchas Torah. So why not link the custom of giving all Jewish children an aliyah (that used to take place every seven years) to the Torah of Shavuos instead of the Torah of Simchas Torah – especially since it was customary for fathers to take their sons to their first day of cheder on Shavuos, not Simchas Torah. And why not have tikkun leil Shavuos, the “allnight learning” Shavuos session, on Simchas Torah? And, while we’re on the topic, why aren’t Jews freilich un sameach on Shavuos as much as they are on Simchas Torah? Come to think of it: doesn’t it make more sense to finish and start the Torah cycle on Shavuos? The clue to all these questions lies in an unusual event that occurs immediately before Shavuos. The parsha includes a less than subtle intimation that the well-being of Jews is conditional on abeyance of mizvos, chukim, u’mishpatim. It is here that we are startled by a checklist of “do’s” and “don’t’s” that is followed by a harrowing litany of Godly blessings (“if you obey”) and curses (“if you do not”) that are so grim that the chazzan lowers his tone in fear and apprehension when reading them. This is the only time of the year when a Jew does not seek the honor of an aliyah! Chazal deemed it discomforting, unnatural even, to take out all the sifrei Torah and dance the night away so close to an atmosphere of punishment. To everything there is a season. This was considered bad timing to gather all “the little ones” (kol ha’niaarim), even those not tall enough to reach the bima, up to the Torah. Shavuos was thus kept more somber, low-key, for in the shadow of castigation it was better to learn more and rejoice less. However, by Simchas Torah, chastisements were no longer hovering menacingly above. The mood was loose, unrestrained, the tone upbeat, vigorous, energetic. And why not? Sukkos was ending and hopes for a speedy Redemption were running high. The time was now appropriate. Close the Gemaras, put aside the serious learning, bring in the wine and candy, and let the lively dancers and loud singers hakafa the night away. I’m exhausted just thinking TJH about it.  Joe Bobker, alumnus of Yeshivas HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, is the former publisher and editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Jewish Times, author of the popular Torah With a Twist of Humor series and the 12-volume Historiography of Orthodox Jews and the Holocaust to be published next summer by Gefen Press, Jerusalem. He can be reached at


fos (“seven circlings”), a circular procession of Jews praising the Torah. Why seven? To recall the seven circuits that the priests made around the altar. Was it always a custom to circle the synagogue clutching sifrei Torah? No. The Machzor Vitry, an 11th century liturgical work from the school of Rashi, describes how it used to be: on both Simchas Torah and Hoshana Rabba, all the Torahs were removed and held, unopened and unread, in the center of the shul whilst the congregants circled. In fact, hakafos is a relatively recent custom, traced back to Rabbi Chaim Vital, 16th century kabbalist from Sfas and pupil of R’ Lurie, the Ari. Since then, the concept of seven hakafos has not only been enthusiastically accepted as minhag eretz Yisrael, (“custom of Israel”), but has even multiplied itself to as many as three different times, both evenings plus Simchas Torah by day. At first, the rabbis were concerned at this creeping expansion of hakafot on the evening after Shemini Atzeres because of possible desecration of a yom tov. However, all doubts quickly collapsed in the face of a Gemara suggestion: Don’t mess with the masses (“See how the people act, and that is the law!”). The Jews demanded hakafos, the more the merrier! And so it stayed (if you spell minhag backwards, point out the droll Yiddishists, you get Gehenna!). As Neil Sedaka (nee Tzedaka) once softly observed in song, “Breaking up is hard to do,” we end the annual cycle of Torah reading and immediately start all over again. But what are we celebrating? The ending? The beginning? I don’t know. I imagine it’s a bit of each. Was the timing always so? No. In the time of the Geonim, the cycle began at mincha on Yom Kippur. It was only in 12th-century Spain and Germany, when the day acquired greater significance as a mystical declaration of continuity, that Bereishis began on Simchas Torah, and even then the parsha was not read from a different Torah but recited just from a sefer (or by heart). When the minhag was formalized some two centuries later, no less than three sifrei Torah were involved. This tradition, to end and start with no pause, underscores a premiere canon of Jewish faith, as expressed by Ezra: that the study of Torah is like a circle, a never-ending celebratory “renewal of the Covenant.” We take this tradition for granted and find it hard to imagine that it wasn’t always so. But it wasn’t. The stop-start custom is nowhere mentioned in the Talmud, nor is it found in centuries of prolific rabbinic writings, not until R’ Avrohom ben Yitzchok’s of the 12th century refers to it in his Sefer HaEshkol; on the contrary, the Rambam describes how the Torah readings were spread out over three, or three-and-a-half years, ending just before Pesach. In the fascinating 12th century travel diaries of the Jewish Marco Polo-type explorer, Benjamin of Tudela writes that it was the custom in his hometown in Spain to finish the Torah readings annually. However, he describes the tradition of two synagogues in Cairo, one for Jews from Palestine, the other for Jews from Babylon, where the former had broken the parsha into three parts and completed the full Torah reading over three years; the latter finished all the parshiyos in one year. Yet, in a show of unity, both groups got together every Simchas Torah to rejoice with the Torah, no matter where each was up to in its reading. This changed shortly thereafter when the rabbis

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016


La alegría de la Torá:

Celebrando Simjat Torá Por Sara Debbie Guttfreund 5 formas en que la Torá nos provee alegría. En su libro Mal de altura, Jon Krakauer describe el momento en que llegó a la cima del Monte Everest: Parado en la cima del mundo, con un pie en China y otro en Nepal, limpié el hielo de mi máscara de oxígeno, puse mi hombro en contra del viento y miré abstraídamente hacia abajo, hacia la inmensidad del Tíbet. En un oscuro y lejano nivel entendí que la extensión de tierra debajo de mis pies era una visión espectacular. Había estado fantaseando sobre este momento y sobre la emoción que lo acompañaría durante meses. Pero ahora, cuando finalmente estaba allí, parado sobre la cima del monte Everest, simplemente no podía reunir la energía como para que me importara (Jon Krakauer, Mal de altura, p. 5). Quedé tan sorprendida por su descripción que tuve que leer el párrafo varias veces. Me conmovió que una persona pudiera entrenar durante años para una escalada como esa, soñar con estar parado en la cima de esa montaña mirando a los miles de metros que había logrado escalar, pero estar demasiado cansado como para

que le importara. Pero esto ocurre a menudo en la vida. Imaginamos que una vez que lleguemos al destino estaremos extasiados. Fantaseamos sobre ese momento de felicidad, pero es elusivo y se nos escapa de las manos, desilusionándonos justo en el momento en que estamos sentados en la cima del mundo. ¿Cómo podemos encontrar y conservar la alegría en este mundo sin que se nos escape de las manos? La festividad de Simjat Torá nos brinda una respuesta. Mientras bailamos con la Torá, gozamos de la única y eterna felicidad que sólo la Torá puede traer a nuestra vida. “Es un árbol de vida para quienes se aferran a ella” (Proverbios 3:18). He aquí cinco formas en que la Torá nos provee alegría duradera. 1. Nos da objetivos más elevados. El mayor pronosticador de la felicidad duradera de una persona es un objetivo que trascienda su propia existencia. Todos nuestros objetivos personales, independientemente de cuán importantes sean, son parte de una misión superior compartida por todos los judíos: traer luz al mundo, honrar el nombre de Dios,

transmitir nuestras tradiciones sagradas. La Torá nos da objetivos más elevados por los cuales luchar. 2. Nos muestra cómo ser agradecidos. La mayoría de las personas entienden por qué la gratitud aumenta nuestro nivel de felicidad, pero no necesariamente saben cómo sentir agradecimiento de forma diaria. La Torá nos muestra cómo ser agradecidos varias veces al día: con los tres rezos diarios, con bendiciones por los alimentos y las mitzvot. La Torá imbuye en nosotros una consciencia constante de que estamos recibiendo bondad y amabilidad de la Fuente de toda vida desde el momento en que abrimos los ojos por la mañana. 3. Nos da esperanza. La vida es difícil y, a veces, impredecible. Muchos de nosotros tenemos diferentes desafíos que nos impiden ver cómo avanzar. Pero la Torá nos enseña que nada es imposible. Que Dios nunca nos enfrenta a circunstancias que no podamos manejar. Que mañana será mejor. Que la redención está en nuestro futuro. Que no nos estamos esforzando en vano. 4. Nos conecta. En un mundo en el que tantas personas están solas y son dependientes de la compañía virtual, la Torá nos saca a cada uno de nosotros de su aislamiento. Nos enseña a crear comunidades y a unir a las personas. Nos enseña que nos necesitamos mutuamente. Nos ayuda a dar incluso cuando no sabemos cómo. Conecta a los abuelos con sus nietos. Une las diferencias culturales que tan a menudo nos dividen. Nos da un lenguaje común y una verdad compartida. Nos conecta entre nosotros. 5. Nos da ritmo. Nuestros momentos


más felices ocurren cuando estamos “siguiendo el ritmo”, inmersos por completo en una actividad. Trascendemos nuestras limitaciones físicas y mentales al sumergirnos en la energía del momento. La Torá nos da esta sensación de ritmo cuando hacemos una mitzvá que nos resulta difícil pero que está a nuestro alcance. Visitamos a los enfermos a pesar de que los hospitales nos ponen nerviosos. Invitamos a la viuda de enfrente para Shabat a pesar de no estar de ánimo para invitados. Damos tzedaká a pesar de temer por nuestras finanzas. Elegimos superar una limitación interna y avanzar incluso cuando tenemos que esforzarnos mucho para hacerlo. Pero la Torá también nos da una sensación de ritmo a través de canciones y baile. Este es el ritmo de Simjat Torá; celebrar la Torá nos enseña a trascender nuestras limitaciones, a ser felices, a estar conectados. A cantar canciones mientras bailamos en círculos dentro de círculos que se elevan por sobre nosotros mismos. Las palabras que cantamos nos devuelven a nuestra esencia. Los objetivos más elevados, la gratitud, la esperanza, la alegría absoluta de estar conectados a nuestro Creador. Dios nos creó para este momento. Para esta alegría creó el mundo. Es una felicidad que no se nos escapará con facilidad, ya sea que estemos en la cima del mundo o que recién estemos comenzando a escalar. De hecho, esta felicidad está en nuestras manos: es el regalo de la Torá que Dios nos da. Una felicidad, una alegría que danza y se eleva más allá de los límites, por sobre sí misma.

OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

A Symbolic Sukkos More than Just Metaphors By Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky




t was a scene out of a fantasy. I’ll call him Moishe. He had a real cynical streak and hardly a good word to say about anyone. To Moishe, everybody was a bum, an am haaretz, a frummie or a tutzach. I don’t think there was anyone with whom he ever felt hashkafically or socially compatible. Everyone was put down either because he was too frum or not frum enough. But there he was with all four of them, as if they were his nearest and dearest buddies. I knew how he spoke about them during the rest of the year, but for some reason today was different. He was not only treating them as equals, he was holding them close as if they were inseparable. The most prominent of the four was clearly as pious as pious could be. They called him Ezzie. He was always learning and davening, and I don’t think he ever said no to anyone who needed a favor. What was really strange was that the others were not

nearly as holy. The second guy was called Robbie. Rob was bereft of any spirituality: He’d never done a mitzvah nor picked up a sefer in his life. And when it came to doing a chessed, he was nowhere to be found. Yet somehow, the cantankerous and often snide Moishe was embracing him like a friend. The other two fellows also seemed out of place. One was called Lou. Lou was like the maskil of old. He loved to learn, yet when it came to good deeds there was much to be desired; he wouldn’t lift a finger for another person. I don’t know if he ever davened or even kept kosher. And believe it or not, next to Lou, hugging him tight, was the fourth guy, who was the exact opposite. All day long he was coming and going to hospitals and whatnot, Hatzolah and Mekimi. But open a sefer? Never! And there was good old Moishe, singing and swaying with them as if they would never part. I couldn’t

imagine what was going on until I snapped out of my daydream and the four men lost their human personae and morphed back into their Midrashic reality: the esrog, the lulav, the hadassim and the aravos, with their particular tastes and smells or lack thereof, each representing a different type of Jew and his performance of mitzvos and Torah learning. I needn’t elaborate on the symbolism of Lou the lulav, Rob the aravah, Ezzie the esrog tzaddik, or Harry the hadas. It’s funny how we like to take Chazal literally when it’s convenient, and how in theory we would bind these Jews together and hug them dearly if they were actual fruit. In Yiddishkeit we often emphasize the beauty of symbolism, but when it comes to reality we often get mired in the murkiness of the mundane, which can cloud our actual idealism. We invite the seven ushpizin into our sukkah and always seem to have

a place for them. But if there were hardly any room and it was hot and crowded, would you really invite a 2,000-year-old relative to your table? A story is told about Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer. He was once sitting with some students when one of them suddenly looked out the window and announced that one of Israel’s leading gedolim (I heard it was the Chazon Ish) was walking towards the house. Rav Isser Zalman quickly prepared his modest apartment to greet the honored guest. The table was covered with a freshly laundered tablecloth and adorned with a bowl of fruit. The rav also changed into his Shabbos attire to show his respect for the distinguished visitor. When someone knocked on the door Rav Isser Zalman rushed to open it. But instead of an esteemed gadol, it was a simple Jew who needed a letter of approbation in order to raise funds. From a distance he had looked like the

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gaon, but the student had made a mistake. To the surprise of his wife, and even more so to the visitor himself, Rav Isser Zalman ushered the poor man into his dining room. He proceeded to seat him at the head of the table, converse with him, feed him, and give him the respect he would have afforded a revered guest. After discussing the man’s needs, he wrote a letter filled with complimentary descriptions regarding the man and his situation. Reb Isser Zalman later commented, “Who among us can really assess a person’s value? Perhaps this is the way one must treat every Jew. I was happy to channel my enthusiastic expectations of the gadol’s visit toward this simple Jew.” Our challenge is to turn idealism into reality. Indeed, I’ll never forget how the idea of the all-encompassing sukkah of protection became a reality. It was erev Sukkos 1985. I was making the trip with my family to New York from Pittsburgh, where we were living at the time. The drive across the Pennsylvania Turnpike takes about six hours, plus another two hours to get to Woodmere. Somewhere near Philadelphia you pick up the New Jersey Turnpike to the Goethals and Verrazano Bridges, and then proceed to the Belt Parkway. It’s not a terrible ride, but that erev Sukkos it was different. We were being chased. It felt as if the Egyptians were breathing down our backs. The minute we changed our eastward trek from Pennsylvania and headed northbound we saw it coming in our rearview mirror: Hurricane Gloria. The hurricane was at Cape May, NJ, and heading north. We were still ahead of it, but it was gaining. Any slowdown and we would be caught in its eye. The rain was pelting, the winds were gusting and we knew there was a possibility we might face its wrath. But we made it. It hit only an hour or two after we finally arrived in Woodmere. Somehow, despite the trees falling, debris flying and cars floating, my father’s sukkah remained standing, protecting us like a real sukkas shlomecha. There is so much symbolism to Sukkos, such as the aforementioned

Midrash about the four minim representing the four types of Jews (Vayikra Rabbah 30:12). It all seems wonderful on paper when your fifth grader brings home a dvar Torah to read at the table. But here’s a story of someone who took its message to

crets known only to (if you’ll excuse my Carlebachian expression) the deepest of the deep and the purest of the pure. So I moved the lulav and esrog to my left side and held them in a way that I thought the general wouldn’t

“You’ve got a lulav and an esrog – why are you hiding them?! You should walk proudly as if you’re holding a bayonet and a grenade!”


to you as a general!” Indeed, he was right. Chazal do compare the lulav and esrog to symbolic arms waved in proud victory after the defeat of a vicious enemy. If only I had really lived the symbolism. If only we believed that the lulav and esrog are our weapons, that the sukkah will protect us as in days of yore, and that our Avos come to visit. If only we believed that all Jews must unite and be embraced, despite their differences. Then maybe, just maybe, Hashem will allow us to sit in the great sukkah made from the skin of the livyasan. Reprinted with permission from AMI Magazine where this article originally appeared.

heart, even if he himself was less than observant. When I first moved back to Woodmere in the mid-1980s there were hardly any observant Jews in the immediate area. By the time my boys were old enough to take a lulav and esrog to shul a few families had moved in, but most of my neighbors would not have known what they were. And though I never wore a tallis over my coat as if I was living in Yerushalayim, it is almost impossible to carry a lulav and esrog incognito. One of my neighbors was General Lee Dicker. I had stopped to schmooze with him a few times when passing by his house on Shabbos. I thought he was Jewish, but I never said anything if I saw him getting into his car on that holy day. He claimed to be a onestar general in the Korean War, and I wasn’t sure if the “Good Shabbos” he usually extended to me was something he had learned from the streets or from his own Jewish home. Well, one day I was running late to shul and had my two boys with me. They were only six or seven at the time, and encumbered with their own arba minim, they were having difficulty keeping up with me. The general was sitting outside, with a cigar and The New York Times, if I remember correctly. I figured I’d get a “What’s that your holding?” or the like, which would require me to explain a commandment whose symbolism, in my opinion, is difficult for those of us in a non-agrarian society to understand on a simple level, let alone their se-

notice. Then came the booming voice: “You’ve got a lulav and an esrog – why are you hiding them?! You should walk proudly as if you’re holding a bayonet and a grenade! I remember the rabbi in Eitz Chaim Yeshiva in Boro Park telling us that! And now I’m telling it

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky is Rosh Yeshiva of South Shore, the author of the Parsha Parables Series and weekly columnist in Yated Neeman and AMI Magazine.




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A Message of Courage, Fortitude and Hope Hallel Hillel Ariel’s Parents Bring the Jewish Nation Closer BY TAMMY MARK


the past few years there have been a surge of tragic events in Israel, one more heartbreaking than the next. Sometimes there are so many in succession that one can almost forget the details of the individual stories, and yet there are those that can impact us forever, like the tragedy of young Hallel Yaffa Ariel, Hy”d. On June 30, 2016, 13 year-old Hallel was asleep in her bed at home in Kiryat Arba when a terrorist entered her bedroom, stabbing her in her sleep. The shock and cruelty of the attack perpetrated on an innocent girl left a deep wound on the nation. Rena and Amichai Ariel had to sit shiva for their precious daughter. While thousands of people came to pay respects to the Ariel family, two individuals were compelled to take action and ensure that Hallel would be remembered in a meaningful way – Moshe Rothchild and Elana Kronenberg, neighbors from the community of Efrat. Elana had purchased wine from the Ariel family winery where Hallel loved to work and helped to promote and sell the wine for the family with the intention that more blessings would be made in Hallel’s memory. Moshe had contacted Elana to purchase wine, and they subsequently joined forces, selling hundreds of bottles of wine in the young girl’s memory. Elana and Moshe still wanted to do more for the family. Moshe knew

that while the pain will always be sharp for the Ariels, as for all grieving families, there would only be a short time that the world would feel the sharpness of the pain along with them. The Ariel family understood that the most significant time to connect with the community would be soon after the tragedy. Accompanied by Elana and Moshe, who both left their own families, the Ariels agreed to travel to the United States to share their personal story of loss – and give the greater Jewish community the opportunity to offer comfort and pay their condolences.

plaining that rachamim is when a person in need comes and asks for help and you respond. Chessed is when you actively go and look to help – when you respond without being asked.


Ariel recalls details from the tragic day Hallel was murdered. Rena was on the way to work when she received the text from a friend, telling her to contact Amichai. “I’m sitting in my car in Jerusalem, knowing that the worst of the worst was happening in Kiryat Arba. On one hand I’m

“We felt side by side that Hashem gave us some kind of mercy, some kind of chessed.”

Moshe posted a message on Facebook about the Ariel family’s upcoming visit. His step-sister, Tamar Einstein of Woodmere, offered immediately to host. Many other communities followed, graciously opening their arms to welcome the Ariels. Moshe expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to help share Hallel’s story. He expounded on the difference between the Jewish concept of chessed and that of rachamim – ex-

dead, on the second hand you must function, you must take the car and drive… This feeling of functioning and dying at the same time – I feel sometimes it’s the story of the Jewish people, living where we are, and we have to function even if we feel like dying.” The terrorist had jumped the fence in Kiryat Arba. Amichai belongs to civilian unit that helps the army. He knew something was

happening but nobody knew exactly what. He was told to run home. Two of Amichai’s friends went with him. The three men ran into the house with Amichai heading directly to the room where his daughter Hallel had been sleeping. He saw the ultimate horror and started screaming. Shukie, his friend and former student, stayed with him. The Arab terrorist was in the house waiting with a knife. The terrorist stabbed Shukie in the leg. The third man heard the shouting, saw what happened, and alerted the civilian unit who shot and killed the terrorist – the whole exchange took but a few seconds. Amichai’s life was spared.


were miracles alongside the tragedy. The two younger Ariel girls, ages 8 and 4, were sent to school early for their last day. The sisters shared the room – the next day it could have been all three of them in the room. “We felt side by side that Hashem gave us some kind of mercy, some kind of chessed,” believes Rena. A bullet had entered Shukie’s eye. The Ariels found out two weeks later that he lost the eye. A millimeter over and he would have been brain damaged or dead, but he’s alive, driving and shooting. These are the miracles they hold onto. “We hold onto the miracles. The fact that Amichai is alive and the oth-

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er girls were spared and Shukie – we have to hold on to that. That Hallel was stabbed in the heart and was not injured or terrorized – she went up holy like the sons of Aharon. For us this was a chessed. The paramedics said she did not suffer.” Rena and Amichai Ariel also maintain a global perspective on their personal tragedy that helps comfort them. They feel that they are a part of a long chain of Jewish history. Living in Kiryat Arba, on the outskirts of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs, reinforces that connection. “She’s our girl, but we feel she became, to some extent, everyone’s girl, and if we can share the story it becomes a story of the Jewish people,” hopes Rena. “We’re not heroes, we’re not special people, we’re not any different than any of you here, and the only difference is we live in a special place, in Kiryat Arba.”


Ariels feel that their story actually started more than 70 years earlier, when Amichai’s mother was a child. At the age of 13 or 14 – just around Hallel’s age – she was put along with her family on train to Treblinka. As the door was locked her wise father told her that she must jump, that it would be the only way for her to survive. The young girl jumped off the train into the forest in the middle of nowhere. She was the only one on Amichai’s side that survived the Holocaust. She made her way to Israel and eventually married. Today she has children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. “That she had to lose a whole family just because she’s Jewish links to our story today. It’s the same story and it’s important for us to tell it,” says Rena.


thought nobody would come during shiva since they would be afraid to travel to Kiryat Arba, but thousands and thousands of people came. “All of Israel heard our cry,” she says. “People came, hugged us, said, ‘Hamokem yenachem etchem’ and left. Jews from the north, Jews from the south, Jews from America.” People visited in droves waiting

Rena and Amichai with Moshe Rothchild and Elana Kronenberg

on a long line that ran through the entire house. One couple who came to give comfort confided to the Ariels that had not yet had children. Amichai, a kohen, blessed the couple for children in an emotional and moving encounter. On Shabbos during the week of shiva, Amichai told a story at kiddush. He told how in 1974 his family witnessed as a terrorist came to his town came through Nahariya through the seashore. Amichai’s father was a military man and managed to move them out, but tragically another family was murdered. One visitor later that week was a man that had a story to tell them; he is the mayor of Tzfat. He told them his name was Ilan Shohat and he

lel would have written. Rena and Amichai already felt fortunate that Hallel had recently expressed to her father how happy she was. She had her friends and her dancing, which she loved, and was happy to start a new school. Five minutes after Ilan’s visit, a woman entered the shiva house – Hallel’s grammar teacher. She explained that Hallel had done some essays in class and wanted to read them something she had written. The exercise was to write to an American “friend” in a notebook. Hallel told the friend how happy she was in Israel despite the hard times and the dangers. Amichai and Rena feel like the chain connecting these young women one to another – Amichai’s moth-

“All of Israel heard our cry. People came, hugged us, said, ‘Hamokem yenachem etchem’ and left.”

was named after an aunt named Ilana. Ilana was murdered at the age of 16 in that tragedy that Amichai had spoken about. Ilan told the Ariels that before Ilana died she managed to write a letter, which he proceeded to read. Written in her last hours, knowing that she wouldn’t survive, Ilana thanked her parents for everything – for good values and a Jewish life. The Ariels felt that this letter would have been the letter that Hal-

er, Ilana and Hallel – while all very sad has much power. “People ask us how do we rise up, how do we stand,” relates Rena. “We’re just parents, a mother and a father. We have to survive so we have to stand – the only way to survive is standing.”


family wanted to do something meaningful in honor of Hallel’s shloshim, a me-

11 31

morial service 30 days after her Hallel’s murder. Hallel loved to dance and was already very good at it. Even when she did four performances in a row, she told her mother how much she loved it – she said it gave her power and energized her. Rena decided to plan an evening to empower the women of Kiryat Arba, again not sure how many would come. Hallel’s dance teacher had the idea to perform a dance in memory of Hallel, including their 8-year old daughter Shira to show that life continues on. The older girls from the dancing school took young Shira under their wings and taught her the dance. 500 women came that evening. When Shira went up to dance there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Wherever the Ariels go they feel the strong connection from their Jewish brothers and sisters and it gets reinforced at each turn. When the Ariels were in Miami sharing their story, a woman stood up to speak. She told them that she was there at the shloshim and witnessed something inspiring and amazing. The Ariels’ 4-year-old daughter, Kana, also wanted to dance, so they dressed her up in a small white costume and the dancers brought her along at the end. Little Kana, however, did not want to leave and stayed throughout the rest of the program. As Kana danced through the whole night, the lady said she saw the future in the little girls. “With all this sorrow we have a future, and the future is this 4-yearold and 8-year-old girl dancing and the future is our country and our people. We share the same history. We can’t collapse because we have a story,” says Rena. The Ariels know many stories of families who have suffered losses – a wife who lost her son and husband, a young man of 18 who was missing a leg came at the end of shiva. He survived his family being murdered 10 years prior and came to tell the family that there is a future, and that though it took time to get through the trauma, he is alive. Rena’s faith is very strong. She relies on certain beliefs that help her survive. “First is the fact that I’m relating to G-d as he’s a king and I’m a slave – an attitude of humbleness.



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The question I want to ask is ‘why her’? There’s no answer, but also we’re taught there’s no question. It’s hard in this generation when everyone Googles the answer. There’s a point where we have to say, ‘I do not know’ and accept it as being a Jew. Knowing she’s in the highest of the

hands. It helps us.”


her short life 13-year-old Hallel managed to affect those around her. There were sometimes social issues in her class of girls, but Hallel was a peace seeker. One particular girl was lonely and

“There’s a point where we have to say, ‘I do not know’ and accept it as being a Jew.” high – I don’t know exactly what it means but I know there’s something beyond me and that helps us accept it.” She continues, “Another way – when we say Avinu Malkeinu we accept that He’s the father – a father will be a father until death. He’s taking care of Hallel. She’s in good

Hallel quietly befriended her and built a relationship. When Hallel was murdered the girl wrote a letter thanking the Ariels for the years of Hallel’s friendship. They value the message that Hallel taught them – to look and see who needs something, to remember to look around

since in the rush of life we tend to go too fast. The Ariels live in the last house on the edge of Kiryat Arba; beyond them there are no Jewish houses. A friend had asked Hallel if she was scared coming home late from her performances and she said no, it is my home. “Hallel was a happy girl and we want to be happy parents so Shira and Kana can have a happy life too. They deserve it and they need us for this.” Rena speaks of her visit to Florida the previous day when they were taken to Disneyworld and their girls saw the Disney princesses…and how she thought of their own princess that was missing. Again she was split: she can’t collapse while watching her girls so happy and wanting to take pictures with a princess – she has to live for them. “I wanted to run away…but we were there for the girls.” The dance recital in memory of Hallel was a very special night. When the family returned home it was late but the girls asked their father for a story to help fall asleep. Amichai, a former Torah teacher, decided to tell the story of Miriam the prophet and how she was the very first dancer in Tanach and taught all of the women of Israel to dance. Again, the family felt the overwhelming connection to something greater, of their beloved Hallel connected with the heroes of the nation. When the younger girls see all the different Jewish people from all walks of life, they also feel connected. This gives them a lot of strength. Terror and tragedy in Israel has become too commonplace. Rena laments how in their small community of Kiryat Arba alone there are ten families that have suffered through major terror attacks in the last year and a half. She says that it has become like their own language. Moshe tells how even during this U.S. visit, while Rena was speaking about her Hallel’s tragic attack, he was getting texts and alerts from Israel because of an infiltration in Efrat – with video showing four IDF soldiers standing on his patio at home. After hours of searching the terrorist was caught, luckily before another tragedy could occur.

The Ariel family

“In America you talk about politics, but it’s not always real politics. In Israel, it affects our day-to-day lives and it’s very serious,” he says. “While this resonated around the world, people living in Israel were affected very deeply obviously, the nature of it with the innocent sleeping child.”


Ariel family is hoping to preserve their daughter’s memory in concrete ways. They are working to build up the family vineyard in Hallel’s memory. They appreciate how the Jewish community is reaching out – there is even an original piece of art created and printed in Hallel’s memory available for purchase. The family is also trying to raise awareness and funds towards increasing the Jewish population. Moshe quotes the statistic that Jewish people are the only people since World War II that have not gotten back to their pre-war numbers. To that end, the Ariels have created a fund, the Just One Life Special Fund, to help mothers who have difficult situations. “Our enemies are doing everything they can to hurt us,” says Moshe, “and we are doing what we can to increase the population.” For more information email

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

10 Wines You On Your YouWant Want on Your Yom Tov Table

Table This Rosh Hashana BY RAIZEL DRUXMAN

The New Year is a time for introspection and growth and also provides the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. If you don’t want to plunge into the deep end right away, start with small changes. When you pick out your wines for Rosh Hashana, be brave and try a new brand or vintage. Here are a few wines to kickstart the new you.


Yarden Blanc de Blanc Champagne 2008 A special sparkling wine made in the traditional champagne style is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit. With a bit of graceful creaminess, this complex sparkling wine is crisp, elegant and drinkable. Great served on its own as an aperitif, the wine also pairs wonderfully with a delicate cheese soufflé, a selection of fish tempura, or smoked salmon.


Galil Alon A nuanced red wine with flavors of sweet plum, licorice and an edge of spiciness with pepper, cloves and sweet spices. Drink it this Rosh Hashana to start off the year right. It is best served with medium-intense flavored food like a braised shoulder or lamb rubbed in oriental spices. Hermon Indigo 2014 A flavorful and medium-bodied red blend that makes a great everyday drinking wine. A very


affordable wine for its flavor, Hermon Indigo is a big favorite as it goes well with a wide variety of foods including roasted lamb, spare ribs, a good steak, or grilled vegetable antipasti.

4. 5. 6. 7.

Yarden Merlot 2012 An elegant rich red wine full of complexity, this merlot displays many layers of flavor that continue to surprise as the wine breathes. Yarden Merlot pairs delightfully with main dishes such as beef short ribs, grilled lamb chops, roast turkey, or a porcini mushroom tart.

Yarden Muscat A sweet yet elegant dessert wine. It is a delightfully light dessert wine and is perfect when you want to enjoy something for a sweet New Year. It pairs well with most desserts including various cheeses, or fruit desserts such as fresh strawberries with whipped cream, or dark chocolate.

Recanati Shiraz Galil Elyon 2015 This Shiraz is a beautiful black-purple color and has deep and powerful flavor of violets, lavender and black pepper, accompanied by aromas of oak. Splurge for the holidays and serve this wine with a rich-flavored Porterhouse.

Recanati Carignan Wild Reserve 2014 A wonderfully festive red wine that contains unique aromas and flavors of black plum, berries and pecans. Its rich flavor lends itself perfectly to be enjoyed with a delicious holiday meal of sizzling steaks.


Gvaot Masada 2013 Masada is a powerful, complex red wine blend with great aging potential. Even with the rich flavors, Masada is smooth, elegant and easy to drink. An excellent match for complex meat dishes such as beef Wellington, tournedos-style filet, slow-roasted saddle or leg of lamb with root vegetables.


Château Haut Peyraguey Sauternes Sauternes is a distinctively flavored French white wine balancing sweetness with the zest of acidity. This delicious and light wine tastes of apricots, honey and peaches with a nutty note. Sauternes is a classic match with foie gras, but can be paired with a variety of foods.


Midbar Southern White 2014 A dry white blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer, this wine has aromas of apricots, lemons, apples and pears and hints of lime. Medium to full-bodied, this wine is best served with grilled fish and roasted vegetables.

Whatever vintage of wine you usually prefer, now is the time to try some fresh new flavors. With an ever-expanding variety of top quality kosher wines, pamper yourself and bring in the New Year with a wine that you will love. It might not be your usual, but now’s your opportunity for freshness, even when it comes to the wine on your table.



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In The K


By Jamie Geller

Scrumptious Sukkos Starters


MATZO BALL DIPPERS Spinach, pastrami and brisket stuffed matzo balls are an amazing trio. They can be served in soup or made even better when crisped and served up with matching dipping sauces.

Ingredients ● 4 eggs ● 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for shaping and browning ● 2 (4.5-ounce) boxes Lipton Matzo Ball Mix ● Kosher salt ● Freshly cracked black pepper ● 2 packed tablespoons thawed frozen spinach (squeeze out excess liquid) ● 2 slices pastrami, minced ● 2 slices cooked brisket, small dice ● Dips: spicy mustard, BBQ sauce, chili sauce

Preparation Place eggs, olive oil, and 2 pouches of matzo ball mix in a large mixing bowl. Add a generous pinch salt and pepper. Blend with a spatula. Divide batter evenly between three bowls. Mix spinach into the first bowl of matzo ball batter. Mix pastrami into the sec-

ond bowl of matzo ball batter. The third bowl is the classic batter with no mix-ins. Refrigerate all three batters for 10 minutes. With wet or lightly oiled hands form spinach and pastrami batters into 1-inch sized balls. Flatten a small portion (about 2 to 3 teaspoons) of classic matzo ball batter into the palm of your hand. Place 1 piece of diced brisket in the center. Fold over the batter to encase brisket. Form into a round 1-inch sized ball. Repeat with remaining batter. Drop matzo balls into boiling broth or heavily salted boiling water, allowing room for matzo balls to double in size. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, turning matzo balls occasionally. Remove matzo balls to a paper towel-lined plate and gently blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Heat a large sauté pan, lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil, over medium heat. Brown matzo balls until golden and crisp on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Serve Matzo Ball Dippers warm with spicy mustard, chili and BBQ sauces.

Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the “Queen of Kosher” (CBS) and the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (New York Times), she’s the creative force behind and “JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller” magazine. Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their six busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen – quickly. Check out her new book, “Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes.”

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OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

Dating Dialogue

What Would You Do If… Moderated by Jennifer Mann, LCSW of The Navidaters

Dear Navidaters,

I’ve been dating Leah for over a month now. She seems to really have her life together and that’s a big part of what I’m attracted to in her. She seems to really know what she wants and how to get it. I believe I know what I want in terms of my future, but getting there is never a simple thing for me. I’m not the most organized guy in the world. I tend to goof up a lot, oversleep, get distracted, etc. My intentions are always good, but I know my followup is not the greatest.

So Leah has quickly taken on the role of acting as a mentor with me. I feel as though she’s probably thinking that if she could just teach me a few tricks, I would be a worthwhile husband. She’s comfortable giving me advice on all sorts of things. From creating better “sleep hygiene” (her words), to dressing better, keeping lists, etc. I’m grateful for all of her caring and advice. But it’s gotten to the point where Leah is totally comfortable telling me what to do all the time and calling all the shots. I don’t really like making too many decisions and am often thrilled to have her decide where we should go on a date or what I should order at a restaurant. But lately, it’s starting to feel like I’m dating my mother! And that’s starting to feel really uncomfortable for me. What do you think about our relationship? Can such a setup work? Sometimes I think she’s the best thing that ever happened to me and that we should marry quickly and my life will be infinitely better than it’s ever been. But other times I start thinking that I’m not viewing her with any sort of romance, if you know what I mean. The way things are going now, my gut tells me that something is way off kilter. Is there a way to rebalance our relationship so that it’s still great, but more normal?

Disclaimer: This column is not intended to diagnose or otherwise conclude resolutions to any questions. Our intention is not to offer any definitive conclusions to any particular question, rather offer areas of exploration for the author and reader. Due to the nature of the column receiving only a short snapshot of an issue, without the benefit of an actual discussion, the panel’s role is to offer a range of possibilities. We hope to open up meaningful dialogue and individual exploration. Check out Soon By You’s Aftershow with the Navidaters on YouTube for a sit-down with coproducer Danny Hoffman.



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The Panel

The Rebbetzin R’ Faigie Horowitz, M.S.


ou are right to trust your gut. If Leah is already trying to change you after one month of dating, she doesn’t know enough about relationships and marriage. She has a lot of growing up and learning to do. It’s not your job to teach her. She needs help but your relationship is imbalanced from the get-go, so get out.

The Mother Sarah Schwartz Schreiber, P.A.


ardon me, sir, but I thought the object of your dating life is finding a soulmate, not a mentor or mommy. Years ago, growing up in LA, I lived next door to the Kugelmans. Every Friday, Mr. Kugelman handed over the paycheck. Each morning, Mrs. Kugelman sent her husband off to work with a lunch bag and $2 – $1.50 for carfare and $0.50 for the newspaper. Every six weeks, she gave him $5 for a haircut. On Thursdays, she handed him the vacuum cleaner; on Sundays, she proffered the lawn mower. That was life in the seven-

ties; Mrs. K flourished in her role as Lady of the Manor, Mr. K withered in his role as henpecked husband. You are astute enough to sense discomfort about this skewed relationship, or as you say, “setup.” I agree you have a lot of growing up to do in the responsibility department – sleep hygiene, time management, and decision making. Marrying Leah, or a drill sergeant, is not the answer. Even if you think Leah enjoys wearing the pants, she will disrespect you in the long run. If your “goofing off” or inability to focus on your commitments prevent you from succeeding at school, work or relationships, I suggest you invest in therapy or a life coach. Once you gain mastery of your time and your life, you will belcome better husband material and, most assuredly, attract a soulmate with whom you can enjoy a balanced, romantic relationship.

The Dating Mentor Rochel Chafetz


aybe you should follow your gut. If she has that personality, even if you talk about it, it will be hard to change. How can you marry someone who wants to fix you all the time?

Pulling It All Together The Navidaters Dating and Relationship Coaches and Therapists


relationship like yours works when it works. What I mean by that is that there are plenty of marriages in which the wife calls the shots and the husband goes

with the flow. When this arrangement is satisfying to both partners, then why not? The tidy and orga-

Don’t you want someone to love you for you, even with your faults? You’re right, she is not your mother. Move on.

The Single

It’s gotten to the point where Leah is totally comfortable telling me what to do all the time and calling all the shots.

Ahuva Guttman


efinition of transitive verb “henpeck” by Merriam-Webster: to subject (one’s husband) to persistent nagging and domination. Old Jewish Joke: There was a rumor in the shtetl that all Jewish husbands were henpecked. In order to determine if the rumor was true, the mayor of the town called all the men to the town square. All henpecked husbands were to stand in one line, all non-henpecked husbands were to stand in another line. The line of henpecked husbands was very long and went on for nearly a mile. But the line of non-henpecked husbands had only one man standing on it. The mayor walked up to the one man standing on the line of non-henpecked husbands and said to him, “This is remarkable! It seems all Jewish men are henpecked husbands and that you are the only exception. Please tell me, what is it that keeps you from being a henpecked husband?” The man looked at the mayo r, s h r u g g e d , and said, “I have no idea, sir. I’m here because my wife told me to stand on this line.” Of course that joke is always told by henpecked hus-

bands. There are also unfortunately too many (even one is too many) controlling and abusive Jewish husbands who are the opposite of henpecked. They don’t tell that joke. There are as many different types of marital relationships out there as there are many different types of people. However, if the relationship is not based on love, attraction, trust and respect for one another, it is bound for failure. This one seems to be lacking in love, or at this stage of the process, attraction. There are some men who are romantically attracted to women who dominate and take over their lives. As you said, none of that attraction exists for you with this young woman. So it would seem to me that it is time for you to move on. What you have learned from this experience is that you would be helped very much by having a life coach. That’s great! Find one and pay for one. Then go out and find a wife who you are attracted to. She could be a very capable, organized and independent young woman. But you need to be attracted to her and there needs to be some draw on the level of a real relationship. As an aside, if you want to marry a young woman strictly as a utility, you could probably find one who is a good cook. But marrying her for solely that reason without any attraction would not sustain the relationship, even though you like to eat good food.

nized wife gets to take the wheel and the “laid back” husband keeps the passenger seat nice and warm. When one partner has a change of heart, the resentment is likely to

build on both your parts. When this arrangement no longer works, and the couple is knee deep in children, careers and/or mortgages, couples can begin to take on the roles of angry mommy and naughty boy. The


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

husband may resent his wife for always acting like his angry mother (overbearing, critical, uptight, no intimacy or affection, nagging) and the wife may come to resent her husband for acting like an overly indulged, self-entitled child (lazy, immature, not a partner in life) for whom she must do everything. The good news is that if both spouses are willing to put in the work, the cycle can be stopped and the couple can achieve closeness and intimacy again. You and Leah are only dating one month, but a cycle has begun. You are cruising along but growing unattracted to her, and she is in charge, unbeknownst to her that this isn’t working for you. There are two people responsible for the current dynamic. Before we point

fingers and label Leah as “bossy” or “demanding,” let’s acknowledge that you have sent Leah a loud and clear signal: help me, I can’t do this myself and I need you to do this for me. Whether it’s the schedule you keep or an indecisive nature, you may have invited Leah to become this “mommy figure.” Part of you feels like something is off in this relationship, but another part of you freely gives Leah the reins to make decisions and invites her to take on the role of Mommy. Maybe Leah has become Mommy, in part, because you have allowed her to. Some of the panelists suggested leaving the relationship. I say, there’s time to do that later, if it should come to that. If you make some changes, maybe Leah will happily sit in that passenger’s seat.

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

Who says she enjoys making these lists for you or ordering for you? Maybe she has been waiting for you to get into gear, or maybe all of her actions are the ultimate acceptance of you? Maybe she sees you for who you are and has been trying to give you what she thinks you need. Who knows, really? Once you step up and make yourself an equal in this relationship, you may find yourself becoming more attracted to her once again. Of course you aren’t attracted to her right now. Men aren’t supposed to be attracted to their mommies. But have you turned her into Mommy? If Leah is condescending to you, rude, impatient, judgmental or verbally abusive, then now is the time to exit the relationship. But if that is not what is going on here, and you feel in your heart that you somehow contributed to Leah becoming “mommy,” then I think you should stick around and work on asserting yourself. Get to know your own voice. What do you like to order at the restaurant? Can you get on top of those lists yourself? Will you work on your sleeping habits? What exactly is your difficulty with follow through? Get to know yourself now and do this soul searching now so that you don’t find yourself in the same relationship with another woman. As long as your signal is help me, fix me you are going to attract someone ready, willing and able to get to fixin’! I am not jumping to any conclusions, just pointing out that some of the attributes you described (easily distracted, goofing, etc.) may indicate a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. Of course, wearing my therapist’s hat, I am wondering when the symptomology appeared. Have you been this way since you were a kid? How was school for you? Were you the kid with the knapsack full of crumpled up papers and empty snack bags? Has focusing always been an issue for you? Or, are these new symptoms and are drastically different from how you’ve always

The tidy and organized wife gets to take the wheel and the “laid back” husband keeps the passenger seat nice and warm.

been? I am not an expert in ADD nor am I giving you a diagnosis through a column. Just something to consider. If these behaviors are explained by ADD or ADHD, then there are all sorts of management strategies out there to help you gain greater awareness into your behaviors and ultimately help you function more optimally. Some of the greatest relationships contain two people whose strengths complement each other’s weaknesses. It is often in our marriages that a spouse holds up a mirror and reflects our flaws. Some people do not want to look into that mirror because it’s easier to keep the status quo. Some people decide to look in the mirror, reflect upon it, and take steps to become to the best version of themselves. I wonder if the universe may be presenting you with an incredible opportunity to do just that. Good luck! Sincerely, Jennifer

Esther Mann, LCSW and Jennifer Mann, LCSW are licensed, clinical psychotherapists and dating and relationship coaches working with individuals, couples and families in private practice in Hewlett, NY. To set up an appointment, please call 516.224.7779. Press 1 for Esther, 2 for Jennifer. If you would like to submit a dating or relationship question to the panel anonymously, please email thenavidaters@gmail. com. You can follow The Navidaters on FB and Instagram.



OCTOBER 13, 2016 | The Florida Jewish Home

Cauliflower- Who Knew? Naomi Cohn

Sukkos, like most other Jewish Holidays centers around meals shared with family and friends in our beautiful Sukkahs outside in the hot Florida sun. Sun is better than rain any day of the week, especially when you’ve spent endless hours trying to get those chain ropes that your kids made out of paper to stick to your stucco walled sukkah. Here in the town of air-conditioned sukkahs where I’ve yet to see a piece of evergreen schach fall into my soup bowl, I find myself making traditional Sukkos foods every year only to get up from the table feeling more stuffed than the cabbage. In my quest for healthy recipes that didn’t shout “hey kids, you’re not going to eat this”, I discovered something that has become all the rage of late. I assumed I was the last one to know about it, after all it’s sold at Trader Joe’s in both the fresh produce and frozen sections. If ever I get bored of my current menu go-to’s I can always count on Trader Joe’s to be selling something new and usually parve that my kids will enjoy. But back to what I thought was a well established staple ingredient- Cauliflower. I’ve been so surprised by the numShaarei Bina Torah academy Save date.pdf 2 ber of people that haven’t heard of using cauliflower (or haven’t been brave enough









to try it) that I thought I’d share two of my favorite ways to cook up the nutrient laden, low calorie white fluffy veggie. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. It’s also provides a nice serving of your dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and even sneaks in some vitamin B1, B2, and B3 along with potassium, magnesium, and protein. (Shhh….Don’t tell the kids!) This nutrition packed white vegetable (also comes in purple, orange and green but those are way harder to slip on the table without mentioning that you whipped up something healthy to try) is nutritionally similar to a baked potato in fiber, fat and protein but when you look at the calories and carbs, you’ll save yourself a whopping 104 calories & 30 grams of carbs when you chose 1 cup cauliflower over a 1 cup boiled potato (no skin) (Source; Cauliflower also has a low glycemic index of just 15, which means that it’ll have little or no effect on your blood sugar. This is key in controlling both hunger and weight. I’ve “riced” my cauliflower several ways. You can do it at home in your Cuisine-art, buy it pre-“riced” fresh and frozen 10/6/2016 7:20:03 PM as well. Whichever way you choose it’s an amazingly simple meal starter. Would you

believe that when I made my potato kugel recipe with it that the family finished the entire pan before Shabbos even started? Don’t worry, I made two of them just in case! So I highly recommend giving it a try. And if you’re worried that your family will revolt when you tell them that it’s not really rice, try making your traditional recipe along side one with cauliflower. Riced Cauliflower (a great side-dish on its own or served with meatballs or stir-fry) 2 T Olive Oil 1 onion, diced 1 medium head of cauliflower, riced 1 pt. mushrooms, washed and sliced 2 frozen pods Bodek spinach, thawed 2 T soy sauce 1 cube frozen garlic (optional) 1 cube frozen red chili (optional) 1 T tumeric (healthy, and adds color) (optional) salt and pepper to taste Sauté the onion in oil over med-low flame to your liking. Add the cauliflower, mushrooms and spinach, and soy

sauce. If using, add tumeric, garlic and chili cubes as well. Let sauté for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can substitute any variety of spices and add in vegetables as well. Cauliflower Mashed “FAUX”-tatoes (serve on its own, or use to make shepard’s pie) Cut 2 medium heads cauliflower into large florets Cover with water and boil until soft (when a fork slips in easily) Pour out all but a small amount of water (enough to cover the bottom of the pot) Using immersion blender, blend until smooth and creamy Season with salt, pepper, garlic, butter or milk as desired. Naomi is a wellness educator and certified by The MacDonald Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (C.O.P.E) through Villa Nova School of Nursing. Her interest in advocating for peoples’ interests started as a career in Human Resources in 1999 and evolved over the past 17 years into a passion for health and wellness. She’s lived in Boca Raton with her husband and children since 2009.


OCTOBER 29, 2015 | The Jewish Home

The Florida Jewish Home | OCTOBER 13, 2016

Notable Quotes “Say What?!”

I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment. - Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, when asked on MSNBC to name a world leader that he respects, referencing a faux pas that he made several weeks ago when he didn’t know what the Syrian town of Aleppo was

The second presidential debate is just 11 days away, and this one will have a town hall format. The first question will be, “Why’d you have to do this in our town?” – Jimmy Fallon

Do you think you could put those handcuffs on me? - Edie Simms, 102-years-old, to Missouri police when they took her in their police car and “arrested” her so she can check it off of her bucket list

A woman in Virginia got nearly 600 calls after C-SPAN accidentally posted her number on the air. In response, the head of C-SPAN said, “Wait, we have 600 viewers?” – Conan O’Brien

It’s reported that even the Taliban actually had a debate viewing party. So for the first time, it looks like they’re torturing themselves. – Jimmy Fallon

I think our friendship was rooted in the fact that I could somehow see myself in his story, and maybe he could see himself in mine. – President Obama eulogizing Shimon Peres

America Online founder Steve Case endorsed Hillary Clinton for president today, although the last thing Hillary wants to hear is “You’ve got mail.”

The organizer of the presidential debates is allowing social media users to vote on debate questions. That’s why, as of today, the No. 1 question for the next presidential debate is “Hey, u up?” – Conan O’Brien

– Seth Myers



The florida jewish home 10-13 16 sukkot issue  
The florida jewish home 10-13 16 sukkot issue